Fifty years after the original COPO Camaro special order performance models were introduced, Chevrolet's eCOPO Camaro Concept has released the concept for an electrified vision for drag racing at the 2018 SEMA show. For optimal weight distribution - toward the rear for a drag racing vehicle - the batteries are mounted in the rear seat area and the trunk.
"The eCOPO Concept is all about where we go in the future with electrification in the high performance space", said GM's Director of Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports, Russ O'Blenes.
The result is a quarter-mile time in the range of 9 seconds, Chevy estimates, though it's still doing testing on the vehicle.
As before, the COPO Camaro features an exclusive front-end design that's not shared with other production Camaro models. In fact, Chevy actually uses a "race-prepped" Turbo 400 automatic transmission in the eCOPO and retains the factory-appointed location of the transmission and all other driveshaft components.
Chevy gives the motor the power and operating longevity it needs with a fast-charging 800-volt battery pack strategically split into four 175-lb (79-kg) 200-volt modules. The eCOPO Camaro has the same crankshaft flange and bell house mounting pattern as GM's LS V8 family of engines, and since all the other ancillary bits (for example, transmission and other drivetrain components) are located in the same places as usual, the electric motor is basically a simple bolt-in replacement for a traditional gas engine. Two are where the rear seat would be, while the second pair sits in the trunk. That means it should work with "just about any" of the automaker's transmissions.
The eCOPO Camaro's name refers to the famous high-performance COPO Camaros produced in 1969.
"The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers".
In the meantime, Chevrolet and Hancock and Lane Racing will continue to develop the eCOPO Camaro and test it on the drag strip, seeking quicker elapsed times with all-new technology.
"We're not there yet, but it's something we're exploring".
Chevrolet's COPO Camaro dragstrip hero turns 50 next year, and the Bowtie brand is celebrating with its 2019 COPO Camaro.
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