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Formula E race car rips on Las Vegas strip

The electric race car, a spinoff of Formula One, makes its first public demo before the series starts this September.

By Clifford Atiyeh Jan 7, 2014 7:01AM
Police closed Las Vegas Boulevard on Monday so a near-silent, all-electric race car could run up and down the strip.

The new Formula E cars won't turn a lap until September, but the FIA-sanctioned series wants to get as much promotion as possible before the first of 10 street races begins in Beijing.

Lucas di Grassi, who raced for Virgin Racing in the 2010 Formula One season, had the entire strip to himself from Mandalay Bay to Caesar's Palace, where a Grand Prix was held in 1981 and 1982. Los Angeles and Miami are on the Formula E calendar in February and March 2015.

The drive, timed with the thousands of technology fans and journalists attending the city's 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, was the car's first public demonstration since the series announced its formation in August 2012.
The open-wheeled cars are essentially a spinoff of Formula One, but instead of ear-splitting V8s and speeds that can top 200 mph, these all-electric cars are much slower (140 mph) with a quarter of the horsepower. Thanks to a relatively lax rule book, Formula E is supposed to encourage innovation and experimentation, which could lead to faster advances on electric road cars.

So far 10 teams including Venturi have signed up for the competition, including a Monacan team backed by Leonardo DiCaprio. Other big names behind the teams include Michael Andretti and Jay Penske, sons of racing legends and team owners Mario Andretti and Roger Penske; Indian automaker Mahindra; Virgin; four-time F1 champion Alain Prost; and one of the Audi factory teams competing in the German DTM series.

Many of the teams don't have drivers yet, and the actual tracks are still unknown. But with alien engine sounds and new technology like wireless on-track recharging, Formula E could gain a following and completely change auto racing.

[Source: Formula E]
Jan 10, 2014 8:18AM

Motorsports in general in in free-fall decline. I was a die hard open wheel fan from the 60's until CART had a hissy fit and split. They have never recovered and seems never will.

Jan 10, 2014 9:29AM

Ah yes! F1 Racing is going the way of Thunderboat racing, the noise was part of it.

Thunderboats with their piston powered engines gave way to wispering jet engines, no more fun to watch!

Parking lots full of Prius' and Holliwood wierdows. Waste of money.
Jan 10, 2014 10:09PM
I'm going to save my money and go to Toys-R-us. They still make those little electric race tracks.
Jan 10, 2014 12:18AM

Sigh,  As if the reguar F1 series  and IRL  doesnt put me to sleep already, this is the icing on  the cake. Was  watcheable  until  late 90's.To many rule changes and cars that practically drive themselves

no thanks.


Jan 10, 2014 9:27AM

Well, at least we can see the future of the electric car for the big or small cities that want to use this amazing technology (Wireless Charging On The Fly?) .......Amazing!!

Bet California will be the first to do it on a large scale. They have always seemed to be Trend setters until the rest of the U.S. Catches on.

As for racing, I am a fan of any type of competitive racing.

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