Porsche is closing in on the sale of a battery-electric sports car. It’s not quite there yet, but after showing off the Mission R concept in 2021, the company is working hard to ensure that the electric powertrain technology the concept was supposed to showcase will stand up to the expected work of a Porsche sports car. The company achieves this with a pair of 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance cars.
You would normally expect to find a flat-six engine behind the cockpit of a Cayman GT4 (whether that’s one of the road cars or the motorsport-appropriate Clubsport variant). In the ePerformance version, this is where the car battery lives.
This is an 82kWh pack designed to be able to deliver sustained performance for the duration of a sprint race, between 25 and 40 minutes. Porsche has also upped the voltage over its other BEV (the 800V Taycan), as the 718 GT4 ePerformance (and Mission R) will run at 900V. only 15 minutes.
The speed and power of the 718 GT4 ePerformance depends on the mode you have it set to. For qualifying, the battery can produce a maximum of 985 hp (735 kW), sent to a permanently excited synchronous motor at each axle. In race mode, the aim is not to deliver a single lap of speed but sustained performance over at least half an hour, and battery power is reduced to a still hefty 603hp (450kW).
“The integration of oil cooling had a significant impact on the vehicle concept,” explained Björn Förster, GT4 ePerformance Project Manager. “With experts in the fields of aerodynamics and thermodynamics as well as specialists in high voltage and bodywork, the development team created an architecture to exploit for the first time the full potential of the cells of the battery, because there is no thermal derating. This way the power output in race mode remains constant for half an hour,” he said.
There are a few additional details about the ePerformance that differ from other Cayman GT4s. The car is 5.5 inches (140 mm) wider and the body is made of natural fiber composite. Other components use recycled carbon fiber as Porsche looks for ways to reduce emissions from its manufacturing processes. Even the tires contain a high degree of recycled material.
If you’re lucky enough to be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England in June, you’ll get to see the first public outing of the 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance as it tries its hand at hill-climbing. It’s a bigger and heavier car than VW’s ID.R race car, but in qualifying mode the Cayman will also be much more powerful, so there’s an outside possibility that VW’s record won’t be safe.
After that, Porsche will take its pair of test cars to different events in Europe before bringing them to the United States in 2023. The idea is not just to show off a cool new toy, but to show racing customers of Porsche what the future is beginning to do. resemble.
“The 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance paves the way for Porsche customer racing with electric racing cars. As a first step, we will unveil this concept to our global partners,” said 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance Project Manager Oliver Schwab. . “Together with drivers, teams, organizers, authorities and other interested parties, we are also gathering ideas for Porsche racing formats in the future.”