Porsche and motorsport - you can’t have one without the other

Porsche might have abandoned its Le Mans efforts, but the company made it clear that it wants to focus more on other competitions, namely Formula E. And now that goal is so much closer as Porsche unveiled the 99X Electric Formula E race car and, as one would expect from Porsche, even its name bears some significance in the bigger equation. Let’s see what’s what.

The 99X name is something Porsche really thought through

Porsche's 99X Electric Race Car Wants a Piece of Formula E
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You’re probably familiar with Porsche’s three-digit naming format that’s a typical feature for most of the carmaker’s cars of old and new. Now, the use of number nine twice was done, says Porsche, to once again highlight the importance of Formula E and of this particular project within the brand’s long-term strategy. The “X,” however, was used to express “a forward-looking approach and prototype racing.”

In plain English, this actually means that Porsche will use the know-how acquired by developing the 99X Formula E racer and bake it into its future all-electric cars.

It’s as simple as that and really not too unheard of in the car industry. Sure, to make that claim stick, Porsche timed the unveiling of the 99X racer in such a way that it precedes its other big launch, which will see the new Taycan being introduced to the public on September 4.

Speaking of which, the Taycan uses the same 800-volt powertrain technology that’s also employed by the 99X Formula E electric race car. It’s also worth mentioning that the new Porsche 99X Electric abides by the rules and regulations introduced by FIA Formula E with the Gen2 cars.

The main difference between the Gen1 and Gen2 cars is that teams don’t have to swap cars mid-race anymore, as a Gen2 racer packs double the energy storage capacity compared to a Gen1 car. This also means each driver gets his own car.

According to Formula E rules, a Gen2 car must deliver 250 kW (that’s 335 horsepower), allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph).

The top speed of a Gen1 Formula E racer was 225 km/h (140 mph), while the power output was set at 200 kW (268 horsepower).

Moreover, Gen2 cars are also longer (5,160 mm instead of 5,000 mm) and narrower (1,770 mm instead of 1,780 mm). Wheelbase (3,100 mm) and ride height (75 mm) stayed the same.

Formula E Gen1 vs. Gen2 race cars


Coming back to Porsche’s 99X racer, it’s hard not to fall in love with the livery choice, which features the carmaker’s traditional motorsport colors. There’s something about each livery that goes on a Porsche race car, it has the we-don’t-know-what, regardless of which sponsors decide to have their name on the car. In any case, we won’t get into describing what the 99X looks like because there’s the photo gallery ready to do that for you.

Max power (qualifying) 250 kW (335 hp)
Max power (race mode) 200 kW (268 hp)
Max power (attack mode) 235 kW (315 hp)
Battery capacity 52 kWh
Max speed 280 km/h (174 mph)
0-100 km/h (62 mph) 2.8 seconds
Minimum weight w/ driver 900 kg
Battery weight 385 kg
Length 5,160 mm
Width 1,770 mm
Height 1,050 mm
Wheelbase 3,100 mm
Ground clearance 75 mm max
Brakes Brembo, carbon discs, 278 mm front, 263 mm rear
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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