Formula E debuts its Gen3 electric race car for the 2023 season. While the official template was revealed earlier this year, Porsche on Monday became the first automaker to reveal its Gen3 racer, and it provided a more in-depth look at the differences between its 99X Electric racer and the outgoing Gen2 cars.
To start, the Gen3 car gets a power increase of 100 kw (134 hp) to 350 kw (469 hp) in qualifying mode. That’s thanks to a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain in place of the Gen2 car’s single-motor rear-wheel drive setup. This powertrain also achieves impressive energy efficiency of 95%, according to Porsche.
Another aspect that may make the racing more exciting, Porsche points out, is that while the cars became heavier from Gen1 to Gen2, the Gen3 car is lighter and more agile.
As before, output will be decreased for races, with temporary boosts available to drivers who activate Attack Mode by driving over a section of track outside the racing line. The Race reported last month that Formula E may discontinue the Fanboost feature that gives drivers an additional boost based on fan votes, however.
The increased output makes the Gen3 car the fastest Formula E car yet, with a 200-mph top speed, according to series organizers. However, it’s hard to say whether cars will regularly achieve that speed on Formula E’s tight street circuits.
Regeneration has also been increased by 2.4 times over the Gen2 car, and now maxes out at 600 kw. More than 40% of the energy used will come from regeneration, according to Porsche, while a new 600-kw charging system will replenish the battery packs in between track sessions.
The Gen3 car also features a dramatically different look than its predecessor, along with a shorter wheelbase and narrower track that Porsche expects will increase agility. The new car is 110 pounds lighter, and its carbon fiber body is made from material recycled from previous-generation racers. Battery cells will also be reused or recycled at the end of the season.
Tires are made of one quarter natural rubber and recycled fibers, and will be recycled as well. And all suppliers have agreed to work together to minimize the overall environmental impact of manufacturing.
Launched in 2014, Formula E features open-wheel cars and an international race calendar in the style of Formula 1, but with the lack of shrieking combustion engines, it’s provided a different kind of fan experience.
As with other race series, the appeal for manufacturers like Porsche is based in part on proving that race-bred tech can be relevant to road cars. The Lucid Air builds on the company’s experience supplying battery packs to the series in recent years. And Jaguar Land Rover claims that it has helped bring range gains to its production EVs.
At the very least, Formula E has helped bust some EV myths. It’s shown that EVs can work in racing, and it aims to continue doing so with the Gen3 car, which makes its competition debut in Mexico City Jan. 14.
Lead photo of the official reveal provided by John Voelcker.
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