The new Porsche Formula E car is ready for its close up. The 99x Electric Gen3 made its debut in Italy this week, and while the tech is quite impressive, and the Gen3 bodywork is truly stunning, the Porsche red-white-black livery leaves a bit to be desired. This new car will hopefully carry Porsche’s legacy in electric motorsport forward, but I don’t believe this will be a particularly iconic or memorable colorway for Porsche in 20 years time. I always have hoped for something more dynamic, maybe including Porsche’s own Acid Green Metallic paint color that it often uses for brake calipers on hybrids and EVs.
And in case you were worried that this was a case of “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” fret not. The new Gen 3 Formula E car is a massive step in the right direction. Porsche joined the series in its second generation, which was already a great move forward with enough battery onboard to last the full 50 minute sprint race, but it was lacking in drama and speed. Enter Gen 3.
This is the fastest, lightest, most powerful, and most efficient electric racing chassis ever built. The new Gen 3 car is physically smaller than the car it replaces, making for better overtaking on tight street circuits. The powertrain is significantly more powerful, and the battery is physically smaller but provides more energy than in the former car. The Gen 3 cars also feature regen braking on all four corners, meaning the cars can recoup more of the energy they burn. All of this adds up to a 200-mph plus electric screamer ready to burn up the city streets.
Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport: “We’re delighted to be able to present the new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 to the world. Our development team in Weissach have invested a great deal of work, experience, heart and soul into this race car. They can all be truly proud of the result. 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 9 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.”
Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E: “There’s a sense of excited anticipation as we head into the new ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season. Our team and our drivers António Félix da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein still have a lot of work to do ahead of the first race with our new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 in Mexico on 14 January. However, we’re confident that we’ll make further progress before the start of the season and that we will be in a good position when the cards are reshuffled amongst the teams with the arrival of the new cars. 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.”
António Félix da Costa, Porsche works driver: “Our new car is a big step forward. It’s lighter and more powerful than its predecessor – that alone brings a smile to a racing driver’s face. As a newcomer to the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, I’ve used the last few weeks to get to know the engineers and mechanics and to find my place in the squad. The team has made it very easy for me. I felt comfortable right from the get-go. I also get along well with my new teammate Pascal, whom I’ve raced against in various series. We have a common goal, namely to bring Porsche to the top. Porsche is a brand synonymous with victories. We want to deliver those as quickly as possible with the new Porsche 99X Electric Gen3.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Porsche works driver: “We’re experiencing exciting times as a team at the moment. During the tests with our new car, I had a good feeling right from the start. We gained a lot of insights and made great progress. At the very beginning, it was about getting the car running, but very quickly it became just as much about performance. And, of course, efficiency, which will also be a key to success with the new generation of cars. These were incredibly exciting experiences for me. We still have some time before the season starts. We’ll use that to become better acquainted with the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 and put the puzzle pieces together so that we’re optimally prepared for the start of the season-opening race in Mexico.”
Porsche has developed a new 476 horsepower electric motor to power the rear axle of this new 99x Electric Gen3, about 130 horses stronger than the Gen 2 car. Under hard braking the car can recover energy at a rate of about 600 kW, which is extreme and intense. The new season will introduce mid-race charging with EV chargers running as high as 600 kW, which is about twice as fast as the fastest commercially available charging station on the street right now.
Here’s hoping the new Porsche can repeat the success of the 2022 car with a win at Mexico City when the series kicks off there in February.