Porsche 99X Electric
By Eric S. September 2 2019
On August 29, Porsche announced their 99X Electric, which represents an important step towards the brand’s entry into Formula E racing. Similar to the 911 and the 919 hybrid, the nomenclature is based on three digits. Unsurprisingly, the car has the familiar Porsche motorsport livery made famous by the exploits of the 919 hybrid. The new car benefited from Porsche’s participation in the LMP category of the World Endurance Championship, and in-turn will likely help Porsche refine its planned street legal electric cars.
The Porsche Powertrain
Formula E has stringent rules. All the cars must use the same chassis and battery. Consequently, most of the innovation has to be under the hood.
During the successful LMP1 project, Porsche worked on a hybrid engine with a high level of efficiency. The effort helped in the development of the technology for the company’s electric cars. The 800-volt technology used in Formula E is currently being used in the production of the fully electric Taycan sports car. Energy efficiency and management are essential for success in Formula E and series production. According to Porsche, the permanent synchronous motor plays an indispensable role here.
Porsche has been testing the Formula E powertrain for months, and it appears everything is working out as they prepare for their first race. The company plans to focus on the performance of the car in the coming weeks. It will make its official debut in mid-October at the Formula E pre-season test in Valencia. Porsche’s drivers; Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer will do the honors of piloting the car.
TAG Heuer Partnership
Porsche’s Formula E team has partnered with luxury watchmaker, TAG Heuer, who will act as their official Title and Timing Partner. They will be competing as the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. With this partnership, TAG Heuer and Porsche hope to make their mark in the Formula E series. TAG Heuer has been in the motorsports industry for years. They have worked with Porsche in the past, and this partnership will likely be a continuation of their successful relationship.
Besides TAG Heuer, various other partners will join Porsche as it enters the Formula E world. These include ANSYS; a simulation software firm, Vodafone; the communication partner and ExxonMobil’s Mobil which will be delivering newly developed fluids for electric drive.
With all of these in place, it appears Porsche is ready to make a big statement in its return to single-seater racing after an absence of more than 30 years. It remains to be seen if the effort will translate to success on the race track. The Valencia tests will likely offer some clues.