Saturday, August 16, 2014

Renovo Motors unveils Shelby CSX9000 based electric supercar

Taking the shape of a muscle car from an earlier era, Renovo Motors has unveiled the Renovo Coupe all electric supercar.  The car, based on a factory-modified Shelby American CSX9000 rolling chassis (“Cobra Daytona Coupe”), has a 0-60 miles/hr time under 3.4 seconds and a top speed over 120 miles/hr.  That's faster than the Tesla Roadster, FWIW.

That performance is generated by a mid-mounted dual-motor drive train, with "sequential axial-flux motors" producing more than 370 kW (500 hp) and 1,000 lb-ft (1,356 N·m) of torque.  It has a single-gear transmission, and various energy mappings for various driving conditions.    The power ramps to FULL in under 37 milliseconds - essentially full-torque-at-zero-RPM.

The battery pack is built using the company's patent-pending modular battery pack system.  Instead of making the pack as one block, it's spread around the car - which supposedly lets Renovo optimize the weight distribution.  It is also supposed to support fast charging in under 30 minutes, so that it would be a great track day car allowing multiple runs in one day rather than spending the day waiting for a recharge.

Having been to more than a few race tracks I can say that high power electricity supply is a major problem, and therefore achieving a 30 minute recharge at most tracks will most likely require special arrangements.  For example, at the 2014 REFUEL, Tesla Motors brought the hardware for a full Supercharger station so the Model S's could quickly recharge between sprints.  However, Laguna Seca was only able to support the required electrical service because when MotoGP comes to Laguna Seca the press/media tent and a bunch of other MotoGP infrastructure is set up at the same spot, and therefore the Laguna Seca Raceway already had a massive electricity supply.

  • 0-60 miles/hr in under 3.4 seconds
  • 1000 ft-lbs of direct-drive torque instantly available
  • Twin sequential axial flux motors producing over 500 horsepower
  • Incredible throttle response with full power available in just 37 milliseconds
  • Patent-pending modular lithium ion battery technology
  • A curb weight of just 3,250 lbs
  • 30 minute quick charge and 5 hour level 2 charge
  • Genuine, factory modified Shelby American CSX9000 rolling chassis
  • Flexible control system with dynamic in-cabin regen adjustment
  • Proudly built in Silicon Valley, USA
  • Entering limited production in 2015
  • Featured at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
  • Preview at the Gold Rush Rally to benefit the Taylor Lynn Foundation

“Renovo Motors sought to create an aspirational vehicle that demonstrates the performance, control, and excitement that is possible with EV technology,” said Renovo’s CEO Christopher Heiser. “We have poured our passion and innovation into the Coupe in an effort to deliver a truly amazing driving experience, and we’re honored to present the Production Prototype of our car at the Concours d’Elegance.”

“Our motivation to design and build our cars is not artificially tied to any particular propulsion technology,” notes Jason Stinson, Renovo Motors CTO. “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.”

The company was founded in 2010, is based in Silicon Valley, and is normal for startup companies located here, has been operating in stealth mode ever since with a staff of just 3 people.

Being located in Silicon Valley one should expect a venture capital company in the background.  Tony Schneider, the former CEO of Automattic, lists himself as an advisor to Renovo Motors and in a blog post explains that True Ventures is an investor in Renovo. He says: "The team at Renovo is world class and the car is spectacular – I’ve witnessed its acceleration and it’s totally awesome!"

The Renovo Coupe is now on sale for the princely sum of $529,000

Sources:  Green Car Congress, Renovo Motors  (all images copied from Renovo's website)

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