The new Porsche GT4 ePerformance has demonstrated its power for the first time to the public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The show races on the 1.9-kilometre hill-climb track in the park owned by Lord March in the south England county of West Sussex also served as a launch for the GT4 ePerformance world tour. Over the next two years, the innovative test vehicle will travel to other places in 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 motorsport customer teams, partners and decision-makers in the motorsport scene.
The GT4 ePerformance features the technology components of the Mission R. At the 2021 IAA MOBILITY in Munich, the conceptual study 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 entire electric motor and battery technology also comes from the IAA conceptual 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, i.e. the duration of a Carrera Cup race. In terms of lap times and top speed, the GT4 ePerformance is on 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 5 to 80 per cent in about 15 minutes.
“The Festival of Speed is truly impressive. It’s a huge festival for car enthusiasts and a motorsport Mecca like no other in Europe,” states Porsche works driver Richard Lietz from Austria, who drove the all-electric prototype in Goodwood. “I was already familiar with the GT4 ePerformance 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 is designed for efficiency because the car has to be able to last the full race distance. It’s more at home on circuits than at hill-climb events 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 for the GT4 ePerformance. 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 fenders, 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 ePerformance 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 ePerformance. “With drivers, teams, organisers, authorities and other interested parties, we’re also gathering ideas for Porsche racing formats in the future.”
The GT4 ePerformance Tour
After its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the GT4 ePerformance will make other international stopovers. Each location follows a special motto. The world-famous motorsport festival in southern England was all about Porsche’s motor racing tradition. The second stop on 20 August 2022 at the Porsche facility in Leipzig is to celebrate the factory’s 20th anniversary. The facility boasts a 3.7-kilometre circuit that features famous sections of world-famous racetracks. In the Saxon metropolis, 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 ePerformance, of which 53 per cent is made of bio-based or recycled materials. The sustainably sourced raw materials also include natural rubber and soot, 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, which Michelin developed specifically for the GT4 ePerformance, should reduce the environmental impact over the 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. As early as 2030, the production percentage of the group of companies should reach 40 per cent.
GT4 ePerformance Tour – the partners
The pure electric prototype heads off on its world tour with support from seven partners. All companies involved 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 contributes 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. TAG Heuer, the Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches, supports this and other Porsche Motorsport projects as the timing partner. As a long-established technology partner of Porsche Motorsport, Michelin develops particularly sustainable racing tyres for the GT4 ePerformance. The fashion company Hugo Boss is the official team outfitter. Fireproof clothing for drivers and mechanics is provided by the sports lifestyle brand Puma with the crew’s tools provided by the official supplier Hazet.