The new Porsche GT4 e-Performance has demonstrated its power publicly for the first time at the Festival of Speed in the south of England. The outing on the 1.9-kilometre hillclimb course in the grounds of the Goodwood estate also marked the launch of the GT4 e-Performance world tour. Over the next two years, the innovative test vehicle will travel around Germany and beyond. The aim is to demonstrate the potential of the cutting-edge vehicle concept and the possibilities of racing formats associated with it to customer racing teams, partners and decision-makers in the motorsport world.
The GT4 e-Performance carries over lots of the technology of the Mission R, the concept study unveiled at the 2021 IAA Mobility in Munich, which outlined the vision of a fully-electric GT racing car for customer motorsport in the future. Both are based on the chassis of the proven 718 GT4 Clubsport model. The electric motor and battery technology also comes entirely from the IAA concept study, which in qualification mode translates to a maximum output of up to 800 kW (1,088 PS). In simulated racing, a steady 450 kW (612 PS) is available for 30 minutes – the duration of a Carrera Cup race. In terms of lap times and top speed, the GT4 e-Performance is on a par with the performance of the current 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup. Thanks to 900-volt technology, the state of charge (SoC) of the battery at full charging capacity jumps from five to 80 per cent in about 15 minutes.
“The Festival of Speed is truly impressive. It’s a huge event for car enthusiasts and a motorsport mecca that is like no other in Europe,” says Porsche works driver Richard Lietz from Austria, who drove the all-electric prototype in Goodwood. “I was already familiar with the GT4 e-Performance from test drives. It’s extremely quick and loads of fun to drive – that’s exactly how I imagine the electrically-powered customer sport racing car of the future. Its aerodynamics are designed for efficiency because the car has to be able to last the full race distance. It’s more at home on circuits than on hillclimb courses like here at Goodwood. So, a time of 45.50 seconds and second place in the overall rankings is in line with our expectations.”
Porsche redesigned about 6,000 parts for the Porsche GT4 e-Performance. Under the direction of designer Grant Larsson, a team from Porsche Style came up with the car’s shape. The body is made of natural fibre composite materials, among others, with production intended to generate fewer emissions than that of comparable synthetic materials. Recycled carbon fibres are also used for testing purposes. Thanks to its flared wings, the racing car is 14 centimetres wider than a 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. This allows more room for the wider 18-inch Michelin racing tyres, of which renewable materials make up a particularly high proportion.
“The GT4 e-Performance blazes a trail to Porsche customer racing with electrically-powered racing cars. As a first step, we will unveil this concept to our global partners,” says Oliver Schwab, Project Manager of the GT4 e-Performance. “With drivers, teams, organisers, authorities and other interested parties, we’re also gathering ideas for Porsche racing formats in the future.”
The GT4 e-Performance Tour
After its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the GT4 e-Performance will visit other destinations around the world, with each one following a particular theme. The world-famous motorsport festival in West Sussex was all about Porsche’s motor racing tradition. The second stop, on 20 August at the Porsche facility in Leipzig, will celebrate the factory’s 20th anniversary. The facility boasts a 3.7 km circuit that features famous sections of world-famous racetracks. During this visit to Saxony, the potential of the all-electric racing prototype will be showcased as a business model.
Michelin racing tyres consist of 53 per cent sustainable materials
Michelin supplies racing tyres for the all-electric Porsche GT4 e-Performance, with bio-based or recycled materials making up 53 per cent of each one. These sustainably sourced raw materials also include natural rubber and soot, both of which are recovered from used tyres using a special processing method implemented by the partner company Enviro. Other materials are based on orange and lemon peel, pine resin and sunflower oil as well as metallic residual waste.
The racing tyres were developed by Michelin specifically for the GT4 e-Performance, and should reduce the impact on the environment over their lifespan, from the development, production, shipping and use right through to the recycling. By 2050, Michelin aims to manufacture all of its tyres from sustainable materials while as early as 2030 the production percentage of the group of companies should reach 40 per cent.
GT4 e-Performance Tour – the partners
The pure-electric prototype is heading off on its world tour with support from seven partners, all of which will use the tour as a platform to further advance the topic of sustainability with Porsche Motorsport. DB Schenker is new to the project: the world’s leading provider of global logistics services is contributing sustainable transport services, among other things. The long-standing partner ExxonMobil is involved through its Mobil brand via joint developments in the field of coolants and lubricants for the racing car. Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer is supporting this and other Porsche Motorsport projects as the timing partner. As a long-established technology partner of Porsche Motorsport, Michelin has developed particularly sustainable racing tyres for the GT4 e-Performance. The fashion company Hugo Boss is the official team outfitter. Fireproof clothing for drivers and mechanics is provided by the sports lifestyle brand Puma, while the crew’s tools are being officially supplied by Hazet.