Chevrolet’s New COPO Drag Racer Is A 9-Second Electric Car

Chevrolet's electric Camaro race car packs an 800-volt battery

2019 Chevy COPO Camaro Gets Retro Look To Mark 50-Year Milestone

GM is looking at selling electric motors that consumers can use to replace the gasoline engines as a potential new line of business.

Chevrolet's COPO Camaro is one of a limited number of drag-racing-ready cars you can buy from a manufacturer.

Chevrolet has brought an electrifying surprise to SEMA 2018 by presenting a battery-powered concept version of its COPO Camaro to attendees.

"The eCOPO Concept is all about where we go in the future with electrification in the high performance space", said Russ O'Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors.

It's the handiwork of General Motors and Hancock and Lane Racing, which has some prior experience with electric drag racing. With 600 lb-ft of torque and 800 volts of battery power of power on tap, early testing of this prototype at Las Vegas Motor Speedway saw elapsed times solidly in the 9 - second range with trap speeds of more than 130 miles per hour. "Chevrolet pioneered the concept of the high-performance crate engine right around the time the original COPO Camaro models were created, and the eCOPO project points to a future that could include electric crate motors for racing, or even your street rod".

In revealing the eCOPO Camaro, GM also hinted that it could make the electric motor and powertrain from the vehicle available as off-the-shelf parts for would-be electric racers. The drivetrain itself is actually a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies, hooked up to a regular racing-prepared "Turbo 400" automatic transmission.

The solution was originally devised by Illinois-based dealer Fred Gibb using Chevy's in-house special order system, known as Central Office Production Order (COPO), hence the COPO name.

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. Two are located in the rear seat area and the other two are in the trunk: one in the spare tire well and the other in the area over the rear axle. The eCOPO Camaro Concept EV gets GM's first 800-volt battery pack, as the automaker follows in the path of Porsche and others to maximize onboard power. This means that the powerful electric motor will bolt up to most GM transmissions.

Two years ago, Chevrolet used SEMA to reveal the latest COPO Camaro, a factory-built drag racer packing a supercharged LSX-based 350 engine good for 580 hp. "We're not there yet, but it's something we're exploring", says O'Blenes.

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