If there’s a Chevy that is factory-made to be a drag racer, then it’s indisputably the COPO Camaro. The car is capable of doing some wild acceleration sprints on the strip. To make it even better with the most recent technology, Chevy has developed an electric version of the COPO Camaro. It’s still in concept form, but a new video already confirms the electrified COPO is no tamer than its internal combustion sibling.
Its first action proved the Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro is still in fact a COPO Camaro, albeit with a new powertrain. It popped an awe-inspiring wheelie as it accelerated noiselessly down the drag strip. The man who captured the footage said the car was only dashing at 80 percent of its maximum driving force as it pulled off a 10.142-second time in the quarter-mile at a speed of 130.85 mph.
That’s definitely not the best time the eCOPO Camaro can set, considering that it packs a couple of BorgWarner electric motors generating a combined output of more than 700 hp and 634 lb-ft of torque. In Chevy’s estimation, the electric concept will be capable of cranking out 9-second passes. Since it has the same bell house mounting pattern and crankshaft flange as the regular COPO Camaro, there’s a possibility that this electric Chevy will head to production someday in the future. As for the time being, it’s just a concept that wants to prove its potential.
Meanwhile, the standard COPO Camaro just gets more potent with its wildest supercharged 5.7-liter V8 engine and a number of safety equipments to bring it up to NHRA standards. The gas-powered COPO can run the quarter-mile in the mid-8-second bracket with trap speeds coming close to 160 mph. Now before you imagine this beast hitting the road, we have to tell you that it’s not street legal. Chevy builds only 69 units per year, and the production has been running since it was restarted around 7 years ago.
Back to the eCOPO Camaro, the fully electric drag racer was unveiled at the 2018 SEMA show. It was developed in collaboration with Hancock and Lane Racing and Patrick McCue. Patrick McCue is a high school shop teacher in Washington State. General Motors developed and manufactured the batteries and motors in Michigan. After that, it’s the task of McCue and his squad to install them into the eCOPO in Washington. The electric motors fasten right up to any gearbox that is compatible with a Chevrolet LS motor. The eCOPO itself comes with the regular COPO’s TH400 3-speed automatic gearbox. The electrified COPO was made to race in the NHRA’s Stock Eliminator category.
As aforementioned, the total output is above 700 hp, while the total torque is 634 lb-ft. The vehicle is powered by a 32-kW-hr battery pack with a sufficient amount of electricity for three full-blast launches, although the eCOPO crew uses an 11-kW charger to ensure the electric beast is in full charge for every launch. The reason is, according to McCue, there’s a limiting factor in RPMs that needs to be done away with, and that is voltage. To get more speed, more RPMs are needed; and max RPMs can only be achieved when the EV is fully charged.
Today, in the era of electrification, GM is transitioning itself into the next generation that commits to zero emissions, zero congestion, and zero crashes. The Chevrolet eCOPO is a good example of what a conventional gas-powered machine can be transformed into in a world of zero emissions. If you want to witness the eCOPO Camaro rip wheelies and attempt to do the quarter mile in the 9-second range, go to Pomona, California on February 7; the car will be running at the NHRA Winternationals starting that date.