The Formula E implemented from the beginning of its existence a series of safe features that have been maintained over the years to the present day. The electric single-seater championship was aware that the great protagonist of the series should be the powertrain, with the ultimate goal of attracting manufacturers to the circuits to use them as laboratories in which to put your technology to the test. It is time to get to know a little more in depth what each of these cars is like, helped by the experience lived this weekend with Porsche Motorsport in Valencia.
That is why, from the first generation of single-seaters, some mainly standard elements have been maintained, starting with the chassis, since both Gen1 and Gen2 have been designed, developed and manufactured by Spark and it is not allowed to make modifications to it. It was planned for this year to implement a Gen2 Evo that would limit the touches between cars and give more aerodynamic support, but finally the outbreak of the pandemic has ended up erasing these intentions.
In addition to the common chassis and aerodynamic elements, the safety systems and the 52 kWh batteries, by McLaren, are also the same for everyone, so where mainly each manufacturer can make a difference in the technical section is precisely in the train motor. In the case of the Porsche 99X, it is considered a direct heir to the Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 winner in Le Mans and in the World Endurance Championship. Its 800 V technology determines the design of the entire powertrain of both the Porsche Taycan street car and the 99X single-seater, the latter dubbed the Porsche E-Performance and developed in Weissach.
Therefore, a scheme of a single permanent magnet synchronous motor is used, specifically designed to perform optimally in this type of competition. knowing the limits of dimensions and the needs in terms of power and autonomy. The electric motor, the inverter, the brake-by-wire, the transmission, the differential, the transmission shafts, the carbon structural frame and the elements associated with the rear axle suspension, as well as the cooling system and the control unit, all these are elements that each formation produces or that can rent / buy from another team. Also the software of each of the elements is the responsibility of the engineers of the respective structures, making it a battle also to have the best code.
Energy recovery is vital, which is why all pilots tend to use the lift and coast technique, supported by the regeneration system.
If we stick to the data, 52 kWh lithium-ion batteries, whose weight is in the 385 kilograms of the 900 that the set weighs, obviously with a capacity much lower than that of a production vehicle destined to cover long distances. Without going any further, the Taycan Turbo S has a 33-module battery pack that has a capacity of 93.4 kWh and a total weight of 630 kilograms. All this allows you to cover up to 484 kilometers between recharges according to the WLTP cycle.
Despite the huge difference in weight, 900 kilos for the 99X and 2,295 kilos for the Taycan Turbo S, both accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in the same time (2.8 seconds) and reach a similar maximum speed (280 km / h in the competition car, for the 260 km / h of the series car). The figures for Formula E are more than enough if we take into account that most of the races are held on urban tracks and that in the seven years of the competition’s life, barely two permanent tracks have been run; the first at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico and since last weekend, also in Cheste. Also autonomy is necessary to cover the 45 minute race plus one lap that usually understand each ePrix, which means that the distance of 100 km is practically never reached.
The Porsche 99X measures 5,160 mm, has a wheelbase of 3,100, a width of 1,770 mm and a height of 1,050 mm
Three power levels, three colors:
Perhaps one of the main curiosities is found in Halo itself, an impact protection measure for the pilots’ heads. On it, a series of LED lights were implemented in 2018 that are in charge of showing us at all times in the power mode in which the Porsche 99X is driving, being able to be off, in a blue tone or finally in the maximum power mode, showing a magenta color.
In the case of being off we would be in career mode, with a power of 200 kW (270 hp), while at the time they are shown in blue, the car would have passed through the three sensors that allow activation during the Attack Mode race, or what is the same, a strategic variable that makes you lose some time to go through the area that allows you to activate it, but that gives you an extra 35 kW of power for a limited time with which to attack your rivals. In case you were wondering, yes, it is mandatory to use all the Attack Modes that you have or you are penalized, so if a red flag appears and the race is finished without having used them, you will be penalized.
Finally, the magenta mode is the one that can be seen both in qualifying and when you activate the Fanboost in the race, which is a prize that is given to the five most popular drivers who receive the vote through social networks. This in the race allows them to be able to use an extra thrust once they have reached the equator. that takes them up to 250 kW for five seconds, which can allow them to tackle the key overtaking
Tires, a technical marvel:
Perhaps the other most curious element can be found in the tires. Michelin joined Formula E from the start, knowing that in a championship that started completely from scratch, he had more options to show off as a manufacturer. Low profile rubbers, a single compound in terms of toughness and a single structure that could be used in both wet and dry conditions. No sooner said than done. There have been few problems that the wheels have presented after the first six seasons (this weekend they used an extra set per day due to the abrasion of the asphalt of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit), while the French brand has been able to use its products in the streets of major cities around the world. In 2022-23 there will be a changing of the guard with the arrival of Gen3 and the commitment to Hankook.
Although it may not seem like it, André Lotterer assured us that the technique behind the wheel of the 99X is almost like that of a rallycross car, fighting practically at all times with him
Face to face – Porsche 99X vs Taycan Turbo S:
Porsche 99xPorsche Taycan Turbo SMotorOne permanent magnet synchronous motor Two permanent magnet synchronous motorsPower270 hp (200 kW) in stroke
320 hp (235 kW) attack mode
340 hp (250 kW) with Fanboost or rated
625 hp (460 kW)
761 hp (560 kW) with Overboost and Launch Control
DrumsLithium-ion with cooling system Lithium-ion with cooling system. 33 modules, made up of twelve individual elements each (in total, 396 cells).Battery capacity52 kW / h93.4 kW / hBattery weight385 kilos630 kilosDimensions (length, width, height and wheelbase)5,160 / 1,770 / 1,050 / 3,100 mm 4,963 / 1,966 / 1,378 / 2,900 mm Tires18 inches21 inchesBrakesVentilated carbon discs, 278mm (front) and 263mm (rear). Four-piston monobloc calipers. 420 mm (front) and 410 mm (rear) PCCB ceramic discs. 10-piston monobloc calipers at the front and four-pistons at the rearWeight900 kilos2,295 kilos0-100 km / h2.8 seconds 2.8 secondsMaximum speed280 km / h260 km / hConsumptionNot declared 25.6 – 24.3 kWh / 100 km (WLTP)Autonomy81 km390 – 416 km (WLTP)