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Renovo shows production prototype of Shelby-based electric supercar

Renovo Coupe Click to enlarge.

Renovo Motors, Inc. unveiled a production prototype of its Renovo Coupe electric supercar at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance. Using a factory-modified Shelby American CSX9000 rolling chassis (“Cobra Daytona Coupe”), Renovo’s eponymous coupe features twin mid-mounted sequential axial-flux motors producing more than 370 kW (500 hp) and 1,000 lb-ft (1,356 N·m) of torque, with a 0-60 mph time of less than 3.4 seconds. Top speed is more than 120 mph (193 km/h).

Renovo says that its mid-mounted motors, with a single gear direct drive, feature optimized energy mappings for a wide range of driving conditions. The drivetrain ramps to full power in 37 milliseconds. Curb weight is 3,250 lbs (1,474 kg). Price is $529,000.

As points of comparison:

  • Tesla Motors’ Roadster Sport model ($128,500 when it was introduced in 2009) offered a top speed of 125 mph with a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds, with a drive system producing 223 kW (299 hp) and torque of 295 lb-ft (400 N·m).

  • The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive (earlier post) (priced in Germany in 2013 at €416,500, or $535,898) accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed (electronically limited) of 250 km/h (155 mph). The AMG high-performance EV features four electric motors producing a total output of 552 kW (740 hp) and a maximum torque of 1000 N·m (738 lb-ft).


Our motivation to design and build our cars is not artificially tied to any particular propulsion technology. Simply put, we can do things with electric vehicles that can’t be replicated by any other platform. Exploring these areas, reducing them to practice, and building them into our products is at the core of what we do best.

—Jason Stinson, Renovo Motors CTO

Silicon Valley-based Renovo, formed in 2010, has operated in stealth mode as it developed its EV technology, including its patent-pending modular lithium-ion battery technology. Three separate battery enclosures enable a performance-oriented weight distribution and minimize chassis volume requirements for the 740V pack. The Renovo Motors drivetrain is less than 40% of the total weight of the car, and yet delivers the highest peak power in its class.

A fast-charge system can replenish the batteries in 30 minutes and maintains compatibility with a wide range of standard Level 2 charge systems. At the track, the Coupe can be charged between run sessions, offering a circuit-ready EV.

Completely reimagined by award-winning designer Peter Brock (an early advisor to Renovo), the CSX9000 delivers the features of a modern supercar while retaining the classic and race-proven aerodynamic silhouette of the original 1964 Le Mans winning car.

This shape was nearly perfect 50 years ago, and physics doesn’t change much over time. However, the redesigned car has a totally updated body, frame, suspension, and cabin; it’s a new chapter for this chassis.

—Peter Brock

Limited production is targeted in 2015. Pre-sales will commence tomorrow at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Initial sales are targeted for California and will expand nationwide later this year.



"physics doesn’t change much over time." The physics does not change at all but our understanding of aerodynamics has changed dramatically. I was stunned to see that the CD (coefficient of drag) of an E-Type Jaguar was 0.44 while most current street cars have a CD of about 0.30 to 0.33 and some practical cars are even less than 0.30 and a few semi-practical cars have a CD less than 0.20. Beautiful cars -- both the E-Jag and the LeMans Cobra but they are not efficient either as race cars or street cars. This car was made to be looked at.


And the range is 2.6 statute miles.


Makes the roadster look pretty good.


1,000 lb-ft of torque could create a warp in the fabric of space-time



Cd doesn't tell you everything, you also need to look at the frontal cross-section of a car. Both the Cobra and the E-type are small&low two seaters.



F(drag) = CD * Area * Air Density * Velocity * Velocity / 2 and if you SI units, the force will be in Newtons. The point that I was trying to make is that these cars are not aerodynamically efficient and that our understanding of aerodynamics has increased dramatically in the past 50 years. A Chevy Cruze would have less aerodynamic drag than these cars.

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