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Renovo Coupe Pairs Iconic Design With Electric Performance: Video

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One indication that electric vehicles are clearly ready for the mainstream market is that they're already becoming desirable in the rarefied atmosphere of the supercar and sports car markets.

The Renovo Coupe might not be much use for the average commuter--if only for budgetary reasons--but as a tool to demonstrate just what electric cars can do (wrapped in a wonderfully pretty body), there are few better vehicles.

Renovo launched its electric supercar at the recent Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, seen here in XCAR's interview of CEO Christopher Heiser.

Heiser says the company name alludes to the concept of being renewed or reborn--the company aims to do something new in the market and to offer customers a new experience.

If you're not familiar with the Renovo's shape and color scheme, the name 'Shelby' might refresh your memory--each car is an electric interpretation of one of America's most significant automobiles, the Shelby Daytona Coupe.

Indeed, the Coupe is based on a genuine Shelby chassis and modified for its new electric drivetrain, before being delivered to Renovo's Silicon Valley facility for completion. It's even been re-styled by Peter Brock--the man who designed the original back in the 1960s.

So secretive was the project until the Pebble Beach launch, the Coupe had only been tested at night, away from the watchful gaze of the public.

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Still, if you're being stealthy, an electric powertrain is clearly the way forward--even one producing over 500 horsepower, 1,000 lb-ft of torque and launching the stunning Daytona body to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.

It'll also fast-charge in 30 minutes, though Renovo has kept the range low to ensure curb weight (3,250 lbs) is also low--each Coupe will do a middling 100 miles on a charge. For a car aimed mainly at wealthy customers wanting fun weekend toys, that's perhaps not such a bad thing.

Attention to detail is stunning and puts paid to any suggestions that electric vehicles can't be emotive objects--from the drivetrain which looks as good as any internal combustion engine to the interior with its clasically-styled yet up-to-date digital gauges, to the LED headlights in classic perspex covers, it's an intriguing mix of new and old.

As we've found with other companies such as EV West and Zelectric Motors, the cars themselves are as important as the powertrains in projects like this.

Electric powertrains aren't just a way of making vehicles cleaner (though that's of course a hugely important factor); they also enable a whole new way of building desirable cars and performance models.

Heiser describes it as "game-changing". He's right--while few will get to try out cars like the Renovo for themselves, on an industry scale electric performance cars like the Renovo Coupe really could take performance in a whole new direction.

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