Formula E is not just a playground for racing, but cutting-edge technology – so it’s only natural that TAG Heuer and Porsche have signed up for the thrill ride.
The Swiss luxury watchmaker and prestigious German car manufacturer have a longstanding and successful relationship in motorsport dating back to the 1960s.
When Jo Siffert was conquering the 24 Hours of Le Mans and numerous other endurance races in a Porsche, TAG Heuer was with the legendary Swiss racer every twist and turn of the way.
The timepiece experts also became a sponsor of the Porsche Supercup from the 1990s, while the TAG-Porsche combo supplied the engines to three Formula 1 world championship-winning McLaren teams in the 1980s.
This time, though, the two household names are boldly venturing into the unknown together as they stand on the cusp of a debut in Formula E, the world’s premier electric-only racing series.
TAG Heuer Porsche have been hard at work ever since announcing their Formula E participation all the way back in April 2018, which also marked Porsche’s first entry to single-seater racing for more than 30 years.
However, despite their pedigree across so many different racing disciplines, the new team is under no illusions about the size of the task that lies ahead.
All cars run with standardised chassis and batteries. The true differentiators, aside from pure driving skill, lies in the ‘powertrain’ components, which includes the electric motor, transmission, driveshaft, rear axle suspension, cooling system – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What’s more, the drive to make a more competitive Formula E car, from everything from weight reduction and energy efficiency, is helping to fuel advances in technology for every vehicle out on a public road.
For their first effort, the 99X Electric, TAG Heuer Porsche have taken inspiration from the German manufacturer’s hugely successful Le Mans Prototype project, which last won the prestigious 24 hour race in 2017.
There is no guarantee of success – indeed this year will be one of learning more than anything else – but the journey, starting from November 22 on the Saudi Arabian circuit of Diriyah, is certainly one worth following.