CES 2014: Spark-Renault SRT 01, Formula E Electric Car, Unveiled in Las Vegas [Video]

The Consumer Electronics Show got underway in Las Vegas with a dose of speed as the new Formula E car was unveiled.

The FIA-Formula E championship has officially unveiled its Spark-Renault SRT electric racing car on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Organizers gave racing aficionados their first glimpse of the car in action at a makeshift racetrack behind the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Former F1 driver Brazilian Lucas di Grassi showed off the car’s specs in a public demonstration, performing spins and sharp turns in the car.

“We are excited to show off the new fully-electric FIA Formula E Championship car in action on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Qualcomm is proud to be a Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship and a part of a global movement towards sustainable living.”

Qualcomm is working with automakers to get more connectivity for vehicle navigation, convenience and other functions, and has a long-term project seeking ways to wirelessly charge electric vehicles, possible through embedded devices in highways.

Unveiled in September 2013, the Formula E car has been designed and built by French-based Spark Racing Technology together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain & electronics), Renault (overall system integration) and Michelin (tires), reports the Auto Week.

In addition to the car’s environmentally-friendly credentials, it is capable of reaching speeds of more than 150 mph, and has a 0-60 time of under three seconds, all barely making a sound.

“The amount of torque it generates, even if the horsepower is not as high as a combustion car, is much more precise,” Di Grassi said, after the police had escorted him along the Las Vegas strip in the car.

“We are a championship on a mission, and the mission is to have more electric cars on the streets all around the world,” said Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, looking sleek among the nerdy tech crowd in an elegant blue sports coat and slightly unbuttoned white dress shirt.

“People love motorsport, but now they also care very much about the environment. So together, it’s a great combination.”

Formula E is a new FIA championship which will compete on 10 city circuits around the world including two races in the U.S. – Miami and Los Angeles – which take place in the spring of 2015. Ten teams have signed on for the new series.

Last month, actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced that he was getting into the environmentally friendly race-car business. The leading man is partnering with Venturi Automobiles to enter a team in the championship. Other teams include IndyCar’s Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, ex-Formula 1 team Super Aguri, Audi-backed Abt and Richard Branson’s Virgin, reports ABC News.

Teams will have two drivers and four series-provided, single-seat cars in the first season. Renault has signed on as the car manufacturer, but series officials expect three to five manufacturers in the second season. Michelin is the tire supplier.

The 47th annual CES, which is held from January 7-10, attracts thousands of exhibitors and is expected to be attended by more than 150,000 people.

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