Porsche commits to Formula E GEN4

Porsche has become the latest manufacturer to commit to Formula E’s GEN4 ruleset, which will be introduced in the 2026-27 season. It joins Nissan and Jaguar is signing up for the all-electric series’ next generation, having first joined the series in 2019 during its GEN2 era.

“The very important statement from our side is that it was always a long-term engagement,” vice president of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach told select media including RACER at the recent Berlin E-Prix. “When we enter a series, it’s not like in and out. So for us it was always clear that we want to do it long-term, we want to be a big part of this championship and we want to give our contribution to build it up.”

Alberto Longo, co-founder & Chief Championship Officer of Formula E, Andreas Haffner, Member of the Executive Board, Human Resources and Social Affairs, Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, Jeff Dodds, CEO of Formula E, Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport, Pablo Martino, Head of Formula E Championship, FIA.


The commitment shoots down any rumors of an impending departure from Formula E for Porsche, once thought of as a distinct possibility amid the brand’s Formula 1 links — something that Laudenbach wouldn’t be drawn on, insisting “these have nothing to do with each other.”

“We’re on some kind of journey together, everybody together, but of course before you sign in you have some talks, you want to clarify some things, you talk about conditions, you talk about everything before you sign,” he said of the renewal of the Formula E deal. “But that doesn’t mean that it was something very difficult or something that … it was just taking the time to do it in a proper way. For us it was always clear that it’s a long-term engagement that we have.”

News of Porsche’s commitment to Formula E’s GEN4 formula comes a year after it signed on for the final two seasons of GEN3. Those two seasons will be contested with the new GEN3 Evo car, meaning Porsche has been simultaneously developing its GEN4 platform alongside its GEN3 Evo. But Laudenbach points out that the balancing act of developing both side-by-side has been natural, and the GEN3 Evo having the basis of the current car means it’s not so much a drain on resources.

“You’ve got to balance it and you’ve got to look at how much effort you put into each generation, because resources are not endless,” he said. “But I think that’s a challenge in motorsport in general. I think in any racing series you have this every year.

“I think we have a very good GEN3 car — it looks like we’re competitive no matter if it’s our own team or a customer team. For sure we’ll make a step for the Evo — you don’t have to throw away what you have to make an Evo, like the name suggests.”

Porsche has incorporated Formula E’s Attack Mode power boost into its road-going Taycan EV.

While there was no public talk of GEN4 at the time of last year’s announcement, behind closed doors, those conversations were already happening.

“(Porsche is) a really simple partner to work with,” said Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds. “Porsche says, ‘Motorsport is important to us, this is what we’ll bring, this is what we need from you,’ and what they need from us is a commitment to develop the next generation technology that allows them to learn — and the new Taycan has an Attack Mode button which is something that they’ve taken and developed out of Formula E.”

“But also they say, ‘We want you to grow this motorsport, grow the audience, grow the fan base, keep delivering really competitive motorsport, and if you do that, why would we want to be anywhere else?’ and I think that’s a lovely relationship. It’s a very simple transaction.”

“They’re foundational for us,” he added. “We’re a challenger brand — we’re 10 years old in a market where some of our competitors are 75, even 100 years old, and we’re in the infancy of developing a series.

“The reality is we’re growing ridiculously quickly, (but) what we can’t develop really quickly is a lifetime of heritage and legacy that someone like Porsche brings with them. So when Porsche commits to a championship like ours, it sends a message around the world, which is ‘this is a serious motorsport.’”

The benefits go both ways though, with Porsche taking lessons learned with its Formula E program and applying them directly to its consumer products.

“We are the ones that still do motorsport right in the middle of the R&D center,” explained Laudenbach. “There are engineers sitting side-by-side working on a road car and on a race car, and this is how the contribution happens. It’s not like you develop a component in a race car, you take it and put it into a road car. You never do that. It’s about developing technology, developing the processes, it’s about developing functions, so it’s all of that and we will see in the next (few) years some solutions in road cars which really come purely from racing.

“If there would not be any benefit, we wouldn’t do it. It’s very clear. There needs to be a benefit on the technical side,” he insisted.

“If you look into the future, we have a very clear commitment to the electrification of our fleet. But it’s not that we deny our history — we still have a lot of combustion engines on the road and we will have for the future; nothing happens overnight. But if you really think about long-term technology, electrification, it’s obvious (why) we’re racing full electric vehicles here.”

Story originally appeared on Racer