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Renovo Coupe: Fast electric car gets fast mobile processor (pictures)

Nvidia announced its Tegra X1 processor at CES 2015, one of the fastest mobile processors available, and Renovo Motors installed the X1 in its Coupe electric super car, showing how it could power an instrument cluster and infotainment center.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 8 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

When we saw the Renovo Coupe electric supercar unveiled last year, it was blue and white. Now it makes an appearance at CES 2015, showing off Nvidia's newest mobile graphic processing unit, the Tegra X1. For the show, the car sports Nvidia livery.

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To help the car shave speed during hot laps, it has gained Brembo ceramic brakes.

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The biggest change comes in the cabin, with a whole new dashboard using two LCDs. Nvidia's Drive CX computer, using the X1 chip, powers both the virtual instrument cluster and the center infotainment system.

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Here's what the Coupe's dashboard looked like before. Renovo CEO Chris Heiser said they began implementing the Drive CX computer in December, allowing just three weeks of development time before CES 2015.

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This concept virtual instrument cluster shows vehicle speed on the right, while a left gauge displays the torque output from both rear motors. The track icon indicates this car's racing intention.

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At the push of a button, the instrument cluster changes to this single gauge view, dominated by the torque display and adding a g-meter, more appropriate for the track. Another button adds a 3D effect, where the virtual gauges pivot slightly left or right in response to the car's cornering.

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During Nvidia's press conference, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed how much better navigation could look with X1. Renovo used that navigation concept for the Coupe's infotainment display. Rather than the maps of today, this system shows a slick 3D environment and uses dynamic lighting for the car's location.

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The infotainment system also includes phone and audio systems. An innovative interface lets you hold on a screen icon to get options for whether the function should show up full-screen, on top or in the bottom position.

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