Renovo-Front-Three-QuartersA pair of ex-Silicon Valley tech workers are aiming for the proverbial stars with the Renovo Motors Coupe. But don’t be confused by the ’60s throwback body and assume that what’s found under the long aluminum hood is equally antiquated.

No, Renovo is pitching its Coupe as an American-built electric-powered supercar, and took its prototype to Pebble Beach to garner interest and potential orders. But will anyone invest over a half-million dollars in an unproven company?

In an interview in Automotive News, Renovo’s co-founders Christopher Heiser and Jason Stinson reveal that they’re big fans of how Tesla has approached the modern EV business.

“They’re doing a fantastic job, and we’re big fans of theirs,” Heiser said.

AN says that in order to avoid the fate of EV startups like Fisker and Coda after over-promising and under-delivering, Renovo started in “stealth mode” and did all its research and product decisions far in advance of announcing anything.

Renovo-Engine-Bay-1“There were a lot of EV companies that announced things that they thought they could do and didn’t achieve in the time they thought — or worse, they felt pressure to launch before they were ready,” Heiser explained. “For the strategic development of the company and our team and everyone in the project, we wanted to make sure that we learned from those experiences.”

At one point during the interview, Heiser drops names like Horacio Pagani, Ron Dennis and Luca di Montezemolo — the bosses in charge of well-established supercar makers Pagani, McLaren and Ferrari — as experts at building modern supercars, but stops short of claiming Renovo is playing in the same league.

Renovo-Rear-Three-Quarters-2The Coupe’s spec sheet is promising, though, with a pair of axial flux electric motors that combine for over 500 horsepower and 1000 pounds-feet of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. The trio of proprietary lithium-ion battery packs total 740-volts and can be fast-charged in only 30 minutes.

Even the weight of around 3,200 pounds is pretty decent, although estimated maximum range of 100 miles and a top speed of 120 mph could be problematic, especially if owners spend more time exploring the latter, which greatly reduces the former.

Renovo might have audacious plans, but few companies succeed only on promises.

“If we want to be [like successful car companies], we have to show what we can do,” Heiser said. “Not just talk about it.”

Automotive News