Porsche unveils 99X electric racer as first Formula E entry

Porsche 99X Formula E racer Neil Jani and Andre Lotterer drive for Porsche in their first season in the electric championship

Porsche has unveiled the 99X Challenger, which is the field for its first season in the Formula E electric single-seat championship car.

The firm will quit endurance racing at the end of 2017 to focus on preparing for the transition to Formula E starting with the upcoming 2019/2020 season. Porsche regulars Neil Jani and Andre Lotterer drive the car.

All Formula E teams are required to use standard '2nd generation' chassis specifications and batteries, but they have the freedom to develop their own powertrains. While Porsche hasn't given full details about its powertrain, it says the 99X's power system was developed using experience built up running the 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning LMP1 919 hybrid sports car.

The Porsche system uses 800-volt technology, which is similar to the upcoming Taycan road cars, and drives a permanent synchronous motor.

Porsche team boss Carlo Vigerov was wary of the firm's chances in his first season, saying: "There is no other manufacturer with so little Formula E experience. We just want to be competitive, that's true."

The team will be called Zenith Team Porsche Formula E. Porsche says the 99X nomenclature keeps the three-digit format it has used for all of its racing cars and two-door sports cars. He decided to use the 9 to double “re-emphasize the importance of Porsche's Formula E project” and the X “forward-looking approach and racing prototype”.

Vigerov also noted that the team has chosen to race in Formula E for sports cars for its work, the brand continues to support traditional gt racing programs.

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