With Porsche's first season in Formula E looming on the horizon this fall, it's refreshing to finally see the car turning laps at Porsche's testing grounds in Weissach. The 2019/2020 season entry requires a spec Spark Racing Technologies chassis—The SRT05e—but electric motor and battery technology is proprietary to each team, so long as it produces no more than 250 kW plus a 10% "attack mode" boost. The batteries must be long enough to last the entire 45 minute plus one lap race.
Porsche says its newly developed full electric powertrain passed without incident. Considering Porsche's own Taycan road car is expected to produce at least 320kW on the top end, it's no surprise that the motorsport engineers have been able to reliably produce a bit less for the FE car. I seriously look forward to seeing Porsche compete in this highly interesting and forward thinking series. It's nice to see Porsche back in open wheel competition, and with electric power so important to the company, it is a no-brainer. I'm always happy to cheer for Neel Jani.
And it's always nice to see a race car running laps in bare carbon. This thing looks like the future!
Quotes on the test day
Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Porsche Motorsport): “The newly developed Porsche powertrain for Formula E completed its baptism of fire. It is an important day for everyone involved in this project. Many thanks to everyone who has poured their heart and soul into the construction of the powertrain and car in recent months and made this successful rollout possible. We still have a lot of work to do on the road to our works entry in Formula E, but an important initial step has been taken. Now we will be fully focussed as we continue to work on familiarising ourselves with the particular challenges of Formula E.”
Neel Jani (Porsche works driver): “I am very proud to have been behind the wheel the first time our Formula E racing car was driven. Being allowed to drive the rollout is not only a great honour, it is also very exciting. We’re breaking new ground. It was a fantastic feeling for me. Everyone in the team feels it: The project is really gaining momentum now. We didn’t push it to the limit during the rollout, but the powertrain and the car made a very good first impression overall. I can’t wait to get back to testing.”
Amiel Lindesay (Team Manager): “We know that we will face very tough competition in Formula E, which to some extent has more experience than us. This makes it even more important for us that we have taken the next step in development with the rollout. With each additional test, we will gain new insights and optimise the performance of the car.”
Malte Huneke (Technical Project Leader): “The development of a Formula E car fully streamlined for efficiency and lightweight construction is a great challenge for our team of engineers. Seeing the car in action for the first time gave us goose bumps. Compared with production development, the demands in terms of efficiency and weight of the powertrain in Formula E are on a very different level. Now we will approach the limit one step at a time. This will be essential to make it in Formula E.”