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By Mike Freeman 12:01a.m. Jan 11, 2014

Something to remember about the International Consumer Electronics Show, which wrapped up this week in Las Vegas, is that it’s a show. It’s not entirely about new gadgets. Part of it is about creating a spectacle.

Qualcomm accomplished that on Monday, when it revved up a new Formula E electric race car — the first such demonstration on U.S. soil.

The car, capable of reaching speeds of 150 mph, did a few laps in a parking lot at The Mandalay Bay Hotel. Instead of the roar of a gas-powered engine, the Formula E racer produced a high-pitched whine akin to the sound of a remote-controlled toy car.

But it still had the power to burn rubber several times during the 10-minute demonstration. Driven by Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi, the Formula E car also made a trip down the Las Vegas Strip with a police escort.

Qualcomm is a founding technology partner of Formula E, a new all-electric racing championship, which will be held in 10 cities worldwide, starting with the kickoff competition in September in Beijing. Two races are planned in the United States, in Los Angeles and Miami, in the spring of 2015.



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