Renovo Coupe: America's First Electric Supercar

By Bill Moore

Chris Heiser is the co-founder of Renovo Motors, a Silicon Valley startup that's putting the electric spark in Carroll Shelby's CSX9000 Daytona classic coupe, producing 1000 foot-pounds of torque, delivering zero-to-60 acceleration in 3.4 seconds.

When Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning went looking for an existing vehicle platform on which to develop what would become the Tesla Roadster, they turned to Lotus in the UK and their Elise sports car.

In contrast, Renovo Motors co-founders Chris Heiser and Jason Stinson, also located in Silicon Valley, looked to an American classic, the Shelby Daytona CSX9000. Designed by Peter Brock to take on Ferrari's GTO during the 1964 race season, the original car proved highly competitive with its 560 hp gasoline engine - costing a cool $30K back then - capable of delivering 540 lbs./ft of torque. When the final race of the season at Monza was cancelled, Ferrari was only ahead by a few points, leaving a "great racing 'what-if?,'" according to Classic Car Studio.

Renovo Coupe electric supercar

Today, there might be little question as to which car would have won the race, assuming it was under 200 miles, of course. Heiser and Stinson created an electric drive system, which even resembles a ICE-age engine, that would most likely blow away the Ferrari. With an all-electric, twin motor drive system spinning out 500 hp at 1,000 foot-pounds of torque, the Renovo Coupe would sprint away from the Ferrari coming out of turns and chicanes. Off the starting line, it could hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach top speeds of 120 mph. Fast charge time is half a hour.

Renovo Coupe electric drive system

But the closest this electric prototype supercar coupe is likely to get to a rematch, at least for now, is to wow the crowds last year at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance car show. Instead, the company business strategy is to focus on building a limited edition version of the car, pricing it in the supercar category of half-a-millon dollar per copy.

In this half hour video interview with Heiser, we get a sense of the excitement that keeps the company charged up as they race to fill their pre-order book for the limited edition $500,000US electric legend.



Times Article Viewed: 10741
Originally published: 30 Sep 2015


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