Formula E is starting to gather serious traction in the motorsport world, as the electrified racing championship offers a unique thrill for driver and spectators alike and now Porsche enters their first model to date, in the form of the new 99X model which has been launched at the LA Auto Show 2019.
Here are the facts and figures. Its obviously a single-seater racing car with a minimum weight of 900 kilograms - including the driver - and the battery weighs a further 385 kilograms. The whole car just sits 75mm above the ground, helping it cut through the air with ruthless efficiency. The industry standard 0-62mph sprint takes just 2.8 seconds thanks to the 340 PS motor powering an ultra-lightweight and ultra-aerodynamic body and the 99X will go on to a top speed of 174 miles per hour - very impressive for any fully electric race car.
The new 99X had its official debut when it lined up on the grid at the start of the Formula E Championship at the end of November. The first race was in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, and there was a total of 24 cars sharing the track.
Quite an attractive racing car, isn’t it? The 99X will don traditional Porsche livery colours of red, black and white, but it’s the names on the side of the car that will catch most peoples attention. Luxury watchmakers tag Heuer have their crest emblazoned in front of the rear wheels and their name running parallel to the cockpit. You’ll also see Hugo Boss has chipped in with a sponsorship deal, as well as Puma and Vodafone, alongside more commonplace racing brands like Mobil and Michelin.
Now, if you’re not huge on Formula E, don’t worry, because the 99X is much more than a race car. Porsche have said that the race car will serve as a development platform for future electric vehicles built for the mainstream - which is why it is being placed alongside the Porsche Taycan on display in Los Angeles.
Porsche have taken a healthy 30-year sabbatical from formula racing but this return marks a significant effort towards the manufacturer’s ‘Porsche Strategy 2025’ plan. This is their ambition to have a fully electric range of GT-inspired road-going cars and sports cars on sale by 2025. It’s all part of Porsches wider ‘Mission E’ strategy - which is to have a carbon-neutral company from production, presentation and during each model’s lifetime using cutting edge technology and sustainable development.
We feel like although the 99X is ‘just’ a Formula E car, for now, the concepts and technology that lie beneath the shell will prove to be of huge importance for Porsche cars over the coming years. Porsche got off to a flying start when Lotterer rose from seventh on the grid to finish runner-up in Race 1.