Porsche is going all-in on electric performance in the near future, with the launch of the Tesla-fighter-with-the-worst-name Taycan, likely a hybrid 911, and a new Formula E team. This weekend Porsche gave the car its first semi-public debut during their annual Night of Champions celebration in Germany. Porsche have not released any images of the car, but all of the factory racers posted video of it in their Instagram stories, which smells like a guerrilla marketing “influencer” effort to me.
During the event, Porsche pats themselves on the back for a good year of racing, congratulates drivers and teams for their part, and announces what the brand will be doing the following year. Porsche’s Formula E effort begins about one year from right now, during the 2019/20 season. The engineers have already got the electric drivetrain up and running test procedures on the dyno, and the team is ready to announce its first driver.
Porsche’s driver lineup remains largely unchanged for the 2019 season, which means Formula 1 racer Brendon Hartley is still on the Stuttgart payroll. It wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see Hartley partner with FIA World Champion Neel Jani.
However, Porsche has been known to throw people for a loop with its driver signings, and it is possible other drivers could be in the running. For example, Fred Makowiecki has had direct involvement with testing both Spark chassis for Formula E, doing benchmark testing at the inception of the series, and tire testing for the Gen 2 car. Porsche factory racer Gianmaria Bruni also has some experience in a Formula E car, having tested with the Venturi team in 2017.
I seriously hope Porsche has more planned for its first FE racer than a white livery with black lettering, but they’ve been known to have incredibly boring liveries lately. It would tie in nicely to the Taycan show car’s white and black look as well. Give me some color, though. Please. Maybe a teal? Throw a lightning bolt on there for good measure.