Do you believe good things come in threes? For the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, the new 99X Electric Gen3 is all the proof we need! Season 9 is already shaping up to be our most exciting racing season yet. First, well-known driver António Félix Da Costa joins our family, pairing up with Pascal Wehrlein. Second, there’ll be more racing than ever, with four new venues (India, Brazil, USA and South Africa) added to our existing itinerary. And now, having a brand-new all-electric racing car gives us three fine reasons to celebrate.
Naturally, all eyes are on the stunning new car. All Formula E cars, regardless of manufacturer, must adhere to the strictest set of FIA compliance specifications. So, what’s changed? The short answer: just about everything.
Let’s start with appearances. The Gen3 bold redesign takes into account the specialised demands of the Formula E circuits, which often incorporate city streets. While aerodynamic efficiency is served by the elongated V-shape and non-discernible rear wing, it also features a slightly narrower track and shorter wheelbase. This not only reduces weight, it also discourages contact-heavy tactical pack racing as seen over the past few seasons.
It may be marginally smaller than its predecessor, but the Gen3 packs more power than any other electric racer before. With a top speed of over 320 km/h (compared to the Gen2’s 280 km/h) it’s the fastest Formula E car ever built. What makes this earthbound rocket even more remarkable is that it’s also the most energy-efficient. Technophiles will know that electric engines can run at up to 95% power efficiency compared to the 40% of an internal combustion engine. The Gen3, however, takes power management to a whole new level – more than 40% of the energy used within a race is produced by regenerative braking, compared to the Gen2’s 25%.
This dramatic increase in efficiency comes courtesy of dual power trains in both front and rear, another first in Formula E. The new front power train adds 250 kW to the 350 kW at the rear, more than doubling the regenerative capability of the Gen2 to a total of 600 kW. It also means that the hydraulic rear brakes of the Gen2 are no longer necessary – so these have been removed, along with the extra weight they added.
The power train is, of course, one of the very few technical areas where our team engineers can put their own stamp on the car’s performance, drawing on Porsche’s wealth of motorsport experience. While full details are obviously top secret, the principle is deceptively straightforward: delivering the utmost efficiency in terms of power output to energy consumption.
Faster, lighter (by almost 60 kg) and more energy-efficient, there is no question that the Gen3 is going to be a game changer on the tarmac. But it’s also setting precedents off the track when it comes to sustainability. The carbon footprint of the Gen3 has been measured from the design phase to inform all measures taken to reduce environmental impact, while all unavoidable emissions will be offset as part of Formula E’s net zero carbon commitment. These measures include recycling old tyres to make new ones, and using linen and recycled carbon fibre in bodywork construction. The advanced Gen3 batteries consist of sustainably sourced minerals, and will be reused and recycled at the end of their life.
All Gen3 suppliers will operate in line with top international standards to reduce environmental impacts of manufacturing (ISO 14001) and be FIA Environmental Accreditation Three-Star rated.
Leaner, lighter, cleaner and faster: the 99X Electric Gen3 is one of the most innovative, exciting car designs in motorsports today. We can’t wait to see what happens when our drivers take it to the streets.