Renovo Coupe: The Electric Dream Car for Petrolheads

By Robert Sorokanich on at

A Silicon Valley startup just revealed the latest piece of electronic future-tech, a 500-horsepower, all-electric supercar that does naught to 60 faster than a Porsche 911. But the most important part of the Renovo Coupe isn't cutting-edge at all: It's that gorgeous body, designed in 1964.

Jalopnik spoke with the founders of Renovo, getting all the details you'll want to know about this beast. You'll find Damon's full coverage below.

Impressive numbers are great, but no kid ever fogged up a showroom window talking about curb weight. Even more than killer performance, the greatest thing Renovo's got going for it is that classic body.

Sharp-eyed readers already know it: It's the Shelby Daytona Coupe, one of the most beautiful and recognisable race cars ever built.

That design, straight out of 1964, was draped essentially un-altered over the Renovo's 21st century electric car guts. With that gorgeous body, the Renovo Coupe offers something for nearly everyone: Electric car nerdliness for techies, scorching performance for thrill seekers, and a hallowed design for traditionalists.

That's sort of the gearhead ideal for electric cars: As the technology matures, it opens up a whole world of opportunity to wrap zero-emission electric drivetrains in the beautiful, legendary designs of yesteryear. Not everyone wants to restore a long-neglected classic car by hand; stuff that classic look with a no-maintenance electric powertrain and you might convince a whole new crowd to break away from anonymous me-too-mobiles and embrace zany, unique designs. Hell, Neil Young already did it with his LincVolt, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous 1959 Lincoln Continental now powered by batteries.

There are a tonne of caveats and what-ifs that could hobble Renovo before a single car hits the road. The auto industry is tough, and all the good intentions and beautiful designs in the world won't do squat without a solid business plan. Even if Renovo can manage to hack it, you probably won't see one in your cul-de-sac: The Coupe is definitely going to be very expensive and have a very limited production run.

Still, most of the electric and alternative-fuel vehicles out there today look like anime golf carts. Even Tesla's designs, while beautiful, don't stray too far from the design norms of today. Renovo could blow the doors off the trend of safe, staid, conservative car design (even if the design Renovo is using doesn't actually belong to Renovo). The potential to shake up the norm is electrifying.