The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance serves as a test vehicle. Like the Mission R, the all-wheel-drive racer uses the chassis of the proven 718 Cayman 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 735 kW (1,000 PS) and more. 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 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is on par with the performance of the current 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup.
“With the Mission R, we’ve shown how Porsche envisages sustainable customer motor racing in the future. The 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance now demonstrates that this vision works impressively on the racetrack,” states Matthias Scholz, GT racing vehicle project manager. “We’re very excited about the response because a one-make cup with electric racing cars would be an important addition to our existing customer racing programme.”
In 2030, Porsche aims to be CO2 neutral across the entire value chain and life cycle of new cars sold. By then, the proportion of all new vehicles featuring all-electric drive should be more than 80 per cent.
Like with the Mission R, the fully-electric drive train of the 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is based on a permanently excited synchronous machine (PESM) on the front and rear axles. Together, they turn the racing car into an all-wheel-drive and can deliver a peak output of up to 800 kW (1,088 PS). The direct oil cooling of the e-motors and battery pack developed by Porsche counteracts thermally induced derating. “The integration of oil cooling has significantly impacted the vehicle concept,” explains Björn Förster, GT4 ePerformance project manager. “With experts in the fields of aerodynamics and thermodynamics as well as high-voltage and bodywork specialists, the development team created an architecture to tap the full potential of the battery cells for the first time, since there is no thermal derating. In this way, the power output in racing mode remains constant for half an hour.” 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.
Under the direction of designer Grant Larson, a team from Porsche Style came up with the shape of the 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance. The racing car is 14 centimetres wider than a 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. About 6,000 parts were designed from scratch. The body is made of natural fibre composite materials, among others, with the production intended to generate fewer emissions than the production of comparable synthetic materials. Recycled carbon fibres are also used for testing purposes. Compared to the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the flared fenders allow more room for the wider 18-inch racing tyres from Michelin. Renewable materials make up a particularly high proportion of the tyres.