California startup Renovo Motors showed off the ageless Shelby body and electric powertrain of its Renovo Coupe
at last year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, but it waited until this year's CES to open up the doors to the car's high-tech interior. Now that it has, it's put together all the pieces of an authentically-bodied Shelby with 500-hp electric powertrain and cutting-edge Nvidia Tegra X1-powered infotainment system ... a strange but alluring combination if ever there was one.
Electric vehicles and high performance aren't two concepts that naturally spring to mind together. One firm that wants to show that the concepts can be perfectly good bedfellows, however, is US startup Renovo. The company says its newly-announced Coupe is the "first all-electric American supercar."
While a number of car makers, including BMW
, have sought to leverage their brand and technical knowledge to produce vehicles of the two-wheeled, pedal-powered variety, they tend to opt for the same high-tech, lightweight materials used in their cars, such as carbon fiber and aluminum. Audi
has done the same thing in the past, but for its latest bicycle offering Audi of America has taken a different tack by teaming up with Renovo Bicycles to create the "duo" – a line of bikes that feature monocoque frames made of hardwood.
Back in the 1700s before strong, lightweight metals were available, the first bicycles were made almost completely of wood. Crude wooden bikes are still used in many developing countries today, built from whatever recycled timber can be found. And as interest in sustainability and renewable energy grows, not only are more people (re)turning to pedal power, there is renewed interest in wooden frame bicycles. Renovo Hardwood Bicyles combine "high-tech magic and fine craftsmanship" to create a range of bikes from hollow wood and laminated bamboo, and are confident their bikes are “the smoothest bike you'll ever ride, stealth quiet, light and responsive, stiff as you want.”