RE: Porsche reveals '99X electric' Formula E racer

RE: Porsche reveals '99X electric' Formula E racer

Wednesday 28th August

Porsche reveals '99X electric' Formula E racer

Stuttgart dropped WEC to concentrate on Formula E; here's its 2019-20 challenger



Given Porsche's motorsport heritage, the formation of the Porsche Tag Heuer Formula E Team and the introduction of its 99X electric racer is tremendously important; for the brand, for its fans, and for the sport. Furthermore, while Formula E is pitched as an addition to Porsche's motorsport portfolio, a broadening of its scope rather than a replacement, that the WEC campaign has fallen by the wayside hasn't gone unnoticed - this appears a real step change for Porsche Motorsport.

So then, the 99X electric. The naming strategy is very deliberate, says Porsche, tying this most modern of racers back to the iconic '9' sports cars, from 904 to 917. Moreover, a pair of nines were used in the name "to re-emphasise the importance of the Formula E project for Porsche." As a car for Season 6 of Formula E, it's running to the 2019/20 spec of Gen 2 Formula E regs; that means a control chassis and battery, with Porsche able to create its own 'E-Performance Powertrain' components: motor, inverter, gearbox, differential, ECUs and so on, as well as some suspension bits. The car weighs 900kg in total, with 385kg of that accounted for by batteries. Power is 340hp in qualifying mode, 272hp in race mode or 315hp with Attack Mode activated. At its most potent, the 99X electric is capable of 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and 174mph - yes, like the other Formula E competitors.

The 99X electric's full reveal was broadcast on live-streaming site Twitch via a 'Formula E Unlocked' game and previewed to the world's crusty media last night. The choice of medium is a significant one; a big part of the Formula E push - along with creating more efficient EV powertrains for future cars, of course - is communicating with new audience groups. Twitch, as a platform predominantly aimed at gamers, should be the ideal place to do that, particularly with the typical user being a male aged between 18 and 34.


Those people who got into combustion engined Porsches will have done so a while ago, through more conventional methods, and don't need further convincing of their affection. How better to get a new generation behind Porsche involvement in a motorsport with heavy viewer engagement and video game influence than a live-streamed, immersive reveal? Drivers Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer took part, Twitch users controlling their decisions as the puzzles progressed and the car got closer.

As you can see, the 99X continues the white, red and black theme known from many other Porsches, most recently the 919 Evo that smashed the Nurburgring lap record. And while familiar in design to the rest of the grid due to the controlled elements, these remain much more striking vehicles than the earlier Formula E cars. Look at that rear diffuser!

Porsche makes much of being a rookie in Formula E, that it takes "the heart of a winner to start from zero." As such it has the pretty modest ambition of simply securing a podium in the 99X's debut season. However, with a wealth of motorsport experience in the team (a lot of the WEC squad is now involved), plus experienced drivers, that might quickly come to look overly pessimistic. Testing begins in October ahead of the first race in Saudi Arabia on November 22nd and a 14-race calendar - how much of a turning point for Formula E could this be?







Author
Discussion

sidesauce

Original Poster:

1,029 posts

163 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Which looks better - this or a 919?scratchchin

Nerdherder

1,286 posts

42 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
sidesauce said:
Which looks better - this or a 919?scratchchin
A 917 or 962 for me please. Or a 909 Bergspyder.


Which sounds better is a question no one should have to ask on Pistonheads regarding the 99X eRacer versus every racing Porsche that preceded it.
I am going to re-evaluate if I like Formula E this season by watching some races though.

Dave Hedgehog

11,084 posts

149 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Looks great

I tried to watch the twitch broadcast but the ‘interactive game’ was just so dull to watch

kambites

57,350 posts

166 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Unless I'm miscounting, we're up to 12 teams in FE next year? How many cars can they take before they start running out of grid slots and/or pit lane space?

Dave Hedgehog

11,084 posts

149 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
i actually might start following this, if i can find out how to stream it

my office is only 15 mins from the london race, hmm


PDV_40

6 posts

60 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
kambites said:
Unless I'm miscounting, we're up to 12 teams in FE next year? How many cars can they take before they start running out of grid slots and/or pit lane space?
12 is the maximum

Maldini35

2,155 posts

133 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
I’m going to give this season a go too.
Feels like the cars, manufactures involved, driver line up and circuits have all improved.
After all, we are taking Porsche vs Mercedes vs Audi vs BMW vs Jaguar (amongst others)
The sound (or lack of it) is still an issue but close racing and plenty of incidents might make up for it.
Perhaps it’ll be like The Tour de France was for me: initially dull and one dimensional but the more I learned about the teams, the strategy and the specialist riders the more fascinating it became.
Here’s hoping smile


Dave Hedgehog

11,084 posts

149 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
Maldini35 said:
The sound (or lack of it) is still an issue but close racing and plenty of incidents might make up for it.
Sound is an issue but F1 has sound utter crap since they moved to hybrids

its kinda the same for performance road cars, the reg changes that have just come in have pretty much killed the sound


shalmaneser

3,673 posts

140 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
I really can'y get over the massive wheels and tiny brakes on these cars.

makes it look like a mid 90's Corsa. Either size the wheels for the brakes or vice-versa.

EDIT: PH when will you be able to provide high quality pics? It's a bit of a joke in 2019 we can't click on the images for higher quality versions.

cidered77

611 posts

142 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
First time in the history of motorsport that factory teams from Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW have competed. Throw in Nissan, Jaguar, and DS as well.

I got properly into it last year, not because i'm a vegan leftie virtual signaller or any other internet cliche, but because i like racing, and it's... just very good racing! And much less silly now we have the Gen 2 car and they don't swap half way inbetween.

The supermario attack mode is a really clever innovation you couldn't really implement with a ICE - the teams don't know for how much the mode will be active for until minutes before the race, so means they can't simulate strategy beforehand. So makes things really interesting in the race.

it's difficult to overtake, but not impossible - exactly how single seaters should be. You can make a very convincing argument this is the best collection of drivers in the world now outside of F1, and they all get paid - no daddy's money here.

The street circuits don't look so good, and the cars aren't that fast (about GT3 pace), but the street circuits also offer up new locations and are more accessible.

Anyways - in summary to all of that: Formula E is now just good motorsport. Doesnt need to compete with F1 - it's just different and good!




thiscocks

2,034 posts

140 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
cidered77 said:
First time in the history of motorsport that factory teams from Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW have competed. Throw in Nissan, Jaguar, and DS as well.

I got properly into it last year, not because i'm a vegan leftie virtual signaller or any other internet cliche, but because i like racing, and it's... just very good racing! And much less silly now we have the Gen 2 car and they don't swap half way inbetween.

The supermario attack mode is a really clever innovation you couldn't really implement with a ICE - the teams don't know for how much the mode will be active for until minutes before the race, so means they can't simulate strategy beforehand. So makes things really interesting in the race.

it's difficult to overtake, but not impossible - exactly how single seaters should be. You can make a very convincing argument this is the best collection of drivers in the world now outside of F1, and they all get paid - no daddy's money here.

The street circuits don't look so good, and the cars aren't that fast (about GT3 pace), but the street circuits also offer up new locations and are more accessible.

Anyways - in summary to all of that: Formula E is now just good motorsport. Doesnt need to compete with F1 - it's just different and good!
Yep, agree. Would be good to see some non-street type tracks come in but the street ones do provide good racing, and unlike at most tracks in F1 you get punished for making a mistake.

The paint scheme on the Porsche looks nice.

Gad-Westy

9,456 posts

158 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
cidered77 said:
First time in the history of motorsport that factory teams from Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW have competed. Throw in Nissan, Jaguar, and DS as well.

I got properly into it last year, not because i'm a vegan leftie virtual signaller or any other internet cliche, but because i like racing, and it's... just very good racing! And much less silly now we have the Gen 2 car and they don't swap half way inbetween.

The supermario attack mode is a really clever innovation you couldn't really implement with a ICE - the teams don't know for how much the mode will be active for until minutes before the race, so means they can't simulate strategy beforehand. So makes things really interesting in the race.

it's difficult to overtake, but not impossible - exactly how single seaters should be. You can make a very convincing argument this is the best collection of drivers in the world now outside of F1, and they all get paid - no daddy's money here.

The street circuits don't look so good, and the cars aren't that fast (about GT3 pace), but the street circuits also offer up new locations and are more accessible.

Anyways - in summary to all of that: Formula E is now just good motorsport. Doesnt need to compete with F1 - it's just different and good!
I've been watching the last couple of seasons, not exactly immersed in it yet but have thoroughly enjoyed some of the races. Only thing that really still grates with me is the 'fan boost' thing. Far too reality TV for my liking. But the action is good and the results are generally close and unpredictable. It does feel like just about anyone could win a race with a little luck.


Frimley111R

9,973 posts

179 months

Friday 30th August
quotequote all
cidered77 said:
The street circuits don't look so good, and the cars aren't that fast (about GT3 pace), but the street circuits also offer up new locations and are more accessible.
I sort of agree but I think they need to race on proper circuits to gain credibility.

cidered77

611 posts

142 months

Sunday 1st September
quotequote all
Gad-Westy said:
I've been watching the last couple of seasons, not exactly immersed in it yet but have thoroughly enjoyed some of the races. Only thing that really still grates with me is the 'fan boost' thing. Far too reality TV for my liking. But the action is good and the results are generally close and unpredictable. It does feel like just about anyone could win a race with a little luck.
Have to agree on that - it's awful, no motorsport should deliberately give some drivers an additional advantage. Definitely grates on me.... everything else tho, really enjoy.

Saying that - my 9 year old showed zero interest in motorsport despite being imersed in it from an early age. But one weekend in NYC with formula E and she's now hooked - knows all the drivers, counting down the days. etc. And she was obsessed with fanboosting Sam Bird - so the kids based on this sample of one like it!

bobo79

158 posts

94 months

Sunday 1st September
quotequote all
Some decent drivers, and I am interested in electric cars (unlike many here).

But...

  • Dreadful* tracks, identical (and ugly) cars (save power trains), artificial fan boost nonsense.
Nope.

cidered77

611 posts

142 months

Monday 2nd September
quotequote all
They arent going to change tracks any time soon and probably shouldn’t

If FE were on conventional tracks - it's just another single seater series with an uninspiring noise, and the audience figures (very impressive at the moment) both watching and attending fade away.

I did a 1.33.3 at Brands GP yesterday, and can confirm that's f**king fast. Then yesterday evening I watched W Series for the first time, and they were in the 1:21s, which is very very f**king fast. But it didn’t look that way on telly - it looked pedestrian vs. Formula 1, which is most people's benchmark. But you don't think "that's slow" when you watch BTCC or even GT cars, it's a different level of expectation vs. single seaters. Formula E Gen 2 doesn’t have real data from conventional circuits anymore- but you could reasonably assume a range of 1:25- 1:28 were they to do Brands. Isn't going to make for exciting TV; isn't going to get people into motorsport for the first time. Even if they make them faster - it's not as if F2 pulls in the views (tragically only getting airtime now because of the weekend's events).

But next year in London, you have a track at Docklands, it does indoor and outdoor, it'll look like nothing else and lots of people will go who would never think of taking a trip out to Brands or Donington were the race held there.

Sometimes the tracks look poor - e.g. Berlin, others like Switzerland look stunning. Sometimes they're too narrow - but overtaking is always possible, just not easy. As single seaters should be.

So it's one of the strengths but also a weakness - but I think net net is clearly attracting more fans than its turning off…