Legendary Chevrolet COPO Camaro Became All-electric And Got 700 Hp

Todd Singleton
November 2, 2018

Fifty years after the introduction of the original COPO Camaro, it takes the high-performance Camaro electric, dropping in a plug-and-play motor for more than 700 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque.

"The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers", said Russ O'Blenes, GM's head of performance variants, parts, and motorsports, in a statement. "The original COPO Camaro program was all about pushing the envelope, and this concept is an exploration with the very same spirit".

Only 69 2019 COPO Camaro race cars will be built - the same number of 1969 COPO Camaro models built with the all-aluminum 427 ZL1 engine.

Chevrolet has turned its flagship muscle vehicle into a drag racer but has left the V8 on the shelf in favour of an electric motor with an 800-volt battery.

Another noteworthy element is the 800-volt battery pack which promises faster recharging according to GM. One being near the rear seats, the other near the spare tire well and the other over the rear axle.

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Chevy unveiled the eCOPO Camaro concept at SEMA, the annual aftermarket trade show. Porsche will use an 800-volt system in its upcoming Taycan EV, too.

The eCOPO Camaro is estimated to run a quarter mile in around nine seconds.

The power of the eCOPO Concept comes from a powerful, unique electric motor. The batteries in the rear compartment are sealed off from the interior and an integrated driveshaft tunnel has been added between the modules for increased protection. Chevy engineers have gone so far as to extend the car's roll cage over the battery pack. Overall, the eCOPO Camaro pushes more than 56-percent of its weight to the rear.

GM is looking at selling electric motors that consumers can use to replace the gasoline engines as a potential new line of business. Indeed, the eCOPO Camaro's drivetrain was designed with that in mind. That means it should work with "just about any" of the automaker's transmissions. "We're not there yet, but it's something we're exploring", says O'Blenes.

Chevrolet is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its legendary COPO Camaro special with an electric drag vehicle that points the way toward a battery-powered future.

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