Blending the very old with the extremely new, the Renovo Coupe might look like a 50-year-old classic from the outside, but under the hood, where you'd normally find a big block V8, it has an electric engine and battery pack instead, capable of catapulting the car from a standstill to 60mph in just 3.4 seconds.
That means that when the car goes into limited production in 2015 it will find itself in the same category as the Ferrari 458 Italia in terms of performance. But that is exactly what the company wants.
"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.”
Therefore it’s rather fitting that for its first car, the company decided to turn to the Shelby Daytona Coupe for inspiration. As well as consciously aping the classic GT racer’s looks it is actually built on a modified Daytona chassis straight from Shelby American.
Those who know their automotive history know that the Shelby Dayton Coupe was an extraordinary car. Based loosely on the AC Cobra, it was built to do one thing and one thing only – to put the US firmly on the global auto racing map by beating the Ferrari 250 GTO at Le Mans in 1964. And beat Ferrari it did, making the six examples of the Daytona Coupe that were built some of the most sought-after classic cars in the world.
Of the decision to go with the Daytona Coupe’s look and feel, Peter Brock, who designed the original and helped the company adapt the chassis for the Renovo Coupe, said: "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."
Renovo claims that thanks to its own patent-pending battery technology that cuts weight without impacting range, the car will deliver like a supercar in terms of poise, balance and handling. And that despite offering such incredible acceleration and nearly 500bhp on tap it will go for 100 miles on a single charge.
And if the production model can deliver on these claims, then it could be the second time in 50 years that a US carmaker challenges Ferrari’s supremacy.