Can you imagine what a fully electric GT racing series might look like? Will the cars hum round their laps on a circuit – or will other race formats get a chance? Here at Porsche, we’re about to find out: with the GT4 e-Performance.
Combustion, hybrid, electric – in motorsport, each drive concept has its strengths. All-electric racing may still be the least established, but its time is coming. Electric racing cars already represent a new dimension in motorsport, where sustainability and top performance need not contradict each other.
With the GT4 e-Performance, Porsche aims to showcase all the opportunities for electric GT racing. The prototype was developed with versatility in mind, right from the start. With its all-wheel drive and flex adjustable power, it shows potential in a wide variety of racing formats. On its worldwide tour, Porsche wants to discuss various scenarios with race organisers, track operators, teams, racing drivers and motorsport fans – and then incorporate those expectations and ideas into the further development of an electric racing car.
Wide range of applications, more investment security for teams.
Achieving 2nd place in the hillclimb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022, the GT4 e-Performance has already made its mark. In numerous tests on race tracks – including the distance of a Porsche one-make series sprint race – the prototype was also able to prove itself on the circuit. Tests on ice slopes are now scheduled for the winter months.
Before the electric racing car can complete its first laps on uneven surfaces under extreme conditions, the vehicle set-up has to be adjusted. But even though the racing car was not built as a test vehicle for regular racing, it should still deliver top performance – after all, it's a Porsche. Then there’s reliability to think about: Further down the line, an electric series vehicle for customer motorsport teams worldwide must ideally earn money in several racing formats. That’s what makes a winning car, and why performance is meticulously planned.
Testing the vehicle under extreme conditions is important to gain crucial experience for its potential in racing. We also want to use our tour appearances to get the motorsport community excited about electric GT racing.
Optimally prepared for its debut on ice.
Since an ice track is not as flat as a race track, the vehicle must be raised and the steering angle maximised. In addition, specially developed, narrow Michelin tyres with studs are used to provide the perfect grip on the slippery surface. Like the slicks, they are made from 53% sustainable materials.
The car is very fast on ice, gravel and asphalt, so I can see great potential for the GT4 e-Performance on a variety of surfaces in the future.
Most important for the operation of the electric vehicle at temperatures below zero is thermal management. For this purpose, the cooling of the drivetrain is greatly reduced and central air intakes are closed. This keeps the heat in the system. Furthermore, a new coolant from the development partner Exxon Mobil is used, which also functions optimally at sub-zero temperatures and enables the vehicle to achieve maximum performance.
The GT4 e-Performance Tour heads to North America and Asia.
After stops at the Festival of Speed in Goodwood and numerous test runs on several race tracks in Europe, the GT4 e-Performance is now making its first official appearance on ice. As part of the Race of Champions Snow+Ice on 28th to 29th January, 2023 in Sweden, it will take part in show runs with Porsche works driver Richard Lietz at the wheel.
Next it’s headed straight to North America, where the prototype will get the chance to show off its strengths at various events: First, at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas from 10th to 19th March, and then at the Grand Prix of Long Beach from 14th to 16th April, with more dates to follow. We are eager to see how the Porsche GT4 e-Performance will be received worldwide as an electric vehicle racing alongside combustion engines and hybrids.