Porsche has taken the wraps off its 2019/20 Formula E challenger for its maiden season in the all-electric racing series. Named the 99X Electric, the racer was revealed by Porsche’s Formula E drivers Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani in a unique interactive video game event.
The 99X features Porsche’s traditional motorsport colours of white, red and black. It also carries the three-digit nomenclature that traditionally represents Porsche’s racing cars and two-door sports cars. A statement released by the team explains the thought process behind the name of the car: “The highest number, nine, was used twice, to re-emphasise the importance of the Formula E project for Porsche, while the X stands for the forward-looking approach and prototype racing.”
Formula E regulations require teams to use a standardised Gen 2 chassis and a standard battery, while the drive technologies can be developed by the manufacturers. Porsche claims its experience in the LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship has helped it develop its Formula E powertrain. “We used the insights gained during that time in the development of the Porsche Formula E powertrain. We focussed on building a highly effective powertrain with the highest level of efficiency,” said Malte Huneke, Porsche’s Formula E Technical Project Leader.
Porsche has also highlighted that the 99X Electric will serve as a development platform for future fully electric production models. The carmaker claims the 800-Volt technology used in the Formula E car is already similar to what’s used in the all-electric Taycan, that will make its international debut at 2019 Frankfurt motor show on September 10.
In addition to revealing its Formula E racer, Porsche also announced that Pascal Zurlinden, Porsche’s Director GT Factory Motorsport since 2018, will take on a key role in the manufacturer’s Formula E outfit, in addition to his role in GT works racing.
The upcoming Formula E season will see Porsche return to single-seater racing after over 30 years. The series will arguably see its most competitive grid yet this upcoming season with Porsche and even Mercedes joining the fray to compete with existing manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Nissan.