Porsche will track test its first-ever Formula E powertrain in early 2019 as it continues to piece together its program for season six of the all-electric championship.
The German manufacturer revealed an updated roadmap on Saturday evening during its ‘Night of Champions’ dinner, confirming it will “design, develop and test” a complete powertrain in early 2019.
“The first steps were already taken in 2017, with the concrete implementation of the concept taking place in 2018,” a statement read.
Porsche announced in July that it will enter Formula E as a factory entity, joining fellow German automotive giants Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
It was poised to work with Dragon Racing this season, but those plans hit the buffers last month, with Porsche to now deploy engineers and management to several Formula E races over the next two seasons, in fact-finding missions.
Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl is expected to head up the new Formula E program, which will be comprised of staff from its now-defunct prototype effort.
The manufacturer, which has already attended Formula E technical working group meetings, has not yet confirmed drivers, although e-racing365 understands that Neel Jani is likely to undertake initial powertrain testing.
Andre Lotterer and Gianmaria Bruni are others who could be involved, with the German debuting this season with Techeetah and Bruni having tested for Venturi.
Fellow works driver Fred Makowiecki, meanwhile, helped develop the Season Five tires for Michelin, and is one of only a few drivers with experience of the FIA-inspired and managed SRT05e.
Porsche’s entry into Formula E in 2019/20 will coincide with the launch of its new Mission E sports car, which has been road testing in recent months.
The design is believed to offer more than 300 miles of range and be charged to 80 percent in approximately 15 minutes on a 800-volt charging system.
Mission E has a direct DNA to the Porsche 919 Hybrid, which had dominated endurance racing since 2015, with electric motors and other components.
Jani’s Future with Dragon Unclear
Question marks have surrounded Jani’s future at Dragon, on whether the 2016 FIA World Endurance Champion will see out his contract with the American squad following a disastrous debut in Hong Kong.
The team had been off the pace in last weekend’s season opener, with little scope for improvement due to a homologation freeze on all Formula E cars.
The Jay Penske co-owned operation is currently evaluating a possible move to Los Angeles and is known to be urgently looking to recruit additional engineering and operational staff.
The team’s current powertrain has been largely developed by former Venturi engineering chief Nicolas Maduit.