LAS VEGAS (AP) — A new kind of race car made its debut Monday with cartoonishly loud revving, the smell of burning rubber, and not a trace of exhaust.
That's because the new FIA Formula E Championship car is all electric. The championship is the first series exclusively for electric cars.
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.
A setting sun illuminated the towering casino's gold-tinted windows as Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi showed off the capabilities of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, pulling off tight turns, breathtaking accelerations and sudden stops.
The car, designed by Spark Racing Technologies, can reach more than 150 mph.
"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."
The unveiling of the high-tech car was timed to coincide with the annual Consumer Electronics Show, a giant gadget expo that began in Las Vegas on Monday.
Organizers took the car on a trip down the Strip at dawn Sunday to capture the first footage of it in motion, surprising the few tourists who happened to be staggering out of casinos at 4 a.m.