Porsche reveals 99X Formula E contender

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Porsche third-gen Formula E racer boosts power to 350kW and does away with hydraulic rear brakes.

Porsche has lifted the covers on its latest Formula E challenger, the 99X Electric Gen3, which will expand its lineup of motorsport racing cars.

The third-generation Formula E racer, to be driven by António Félix da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein, is significantly upgraded compared with its predecessor, the 99X Electric Gen2.

The Porsche-developed powertrain has been uprated from 250kW in the Gen2 car to 350kW, with rear brake energy regeneration more than doubled to 600kW.

These improvements are in part thanks to the addition of a front motor, bolstering maximum regeneration such that hydraulic brakes are no longer required at the rear. Recuperated energy accounts for more than 40 per cent of that used in a race, Porsche said.

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Aside from the powertrain, the rest of the car – the chassis, batteries and aerodynamics, for example – is standard across Formula E. Sustainability is a point of emphasis for these components: the Williams Advanced Engineering batteries will be recycled or reused at the end of each season, and the carbonfibre used in each chassis is recycled from retired Gen2 cars.

The 99X Electric Gen3 will make its debut at the Mexico City E-Prix on 14 January 2023.

Porsche is “confident that [it will] make further progress” developing the car before the season starts, according to Florian Modlinger, Porsche’s Formula E boss, who added that the team will be in a “good position” in the sport’s new era.

Modlinger said: “The new Gen3 vehicles, including our Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, will hopefully make the races even more spectacular for fans and give the popularity of Formula E worldwide even more of a boost.”

Thomas Laudenbach, vice-president of Porsche Motorsport, said: “Like the all-new Formula E generation, the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 represents a technological milestone in all-electric racing. For Formula E and also for Porsche, campaigning these new cars from season nine of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is a significant step into the future of motorsport. We’re looking forward to the start of the season and a new era.”

Porsche finished seventh out of 11 teams in the 2021-22 Formula E season, despite taking a one-two finish in the second round in Mexico City. The team’s form dwindled thereafter, and Mercedes-EQ and former Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne took the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

Porsche’s world-beating EV now comes as a rear-driven Tesla Model S and BMW i4 rival. Should they worry?

Porsche is the last of Germany’s large manufacturers competing in Formula E: Mercedes announced its exit in August 2021 to focus on its Formula 1 efforts, while Audi and BMW pulled out the season prior.

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