Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro 700HP EV Drag Racer Concept Promises Electrifying Performance

Sheri Evans
November 2, 2018

It takes the general idea of a COPO Camaro - build and sell a auto specifically for drag racing - and modified the idea with a 21st-century twist by way of a beefy electric motor.

Aptly named as eCOPO Camaro, this version is based on Chevy Classic 2019 version. The eCOPO Camaro follows along the same pattern, offering drag-racing prowess powered by electricity.

The upgraded racing coupe got a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 electric motors with a total output of 700 hp (522 kW) and 814 Nm of torque.

Built in collaboration with Hancock and Lane Racing, its current quarter-mile sprint times are in the nine-second region, but there's more development to come. The two electric motors are connected to a conventional Turbo 400 automatic transmission. That pushes all of the power to the solid rear axle.

Nodding at the past while looking into the future, Chevrolet is presenting the all-new eCOPO Camaro at the 2018 SEMA Show.

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As for batteries, the eCOPO Camaro uses four 200-volt battery modules stored in various locations - two are where the rear seat used to be, one is in the spare tire well and the fourth is located over the rear axle. The resulting 56-percent rear weight bias helps the auto launch more efficiently. That pays dividends in traction when you're launching it off a standing start. Chevy says that this vehicle "suggests" a potential new avenue for the Chevy crate engine and performance parts portfolio, however, there is no indication that the eCOPO concept will enter normal production.

An updated battery management system is responsible for making sure all the voltages and temperatures are in order. 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. The roll cage has also been extended to surround the batteries as well, just for that extra bit of protection.

While this show vehicle may be a one-off, the potential for performance electrification is something GM is taking seriously.

The 800-volt pack will enable much, much faster charging times, which is an extremely important feature for the model, since there's limited time between elimination rounds in drag racing.

The 2019 COPO Camaro is available with three different engines. Ready-to-install electric motors could be sold the same way, presumably with battery packs, cables, electronic controls and other components needed to convert a auto to electric drive. In addition, the drivetrain components in the eCOPO are in the same spot as in the gasoline COPO Camaro. That means it should work with "just about any" of the automaker's transmissions. The eCOPO's electric motor is capable of producing over 700 horsepower. "We're not there yet, but it's something we're exploring".

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