Just when you thought the SEMA show could ever only be about high octane and fire-spitting horsepower, Chevrolet has introduced us with something new. Enter the electric COPO Camaro Concept, or eCOPO if you prefer.
The eCOPO Camaro was built in partnership with Hancock and Lane Racing, which have been one of the few trailblazers of electric vehicle drag racing. The electric COPO Camaro Concept is entirely electric, driven by an electric motor providing the equivalent of more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque supplied from GM’s first 800-volt battery pack.
The electric motor itself can be found in place of the COPO Camaro’s gas engine, and is based on a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motors, each of them generating 300 lb-ft of torque. Unconventionally, where typical electric cars are a single speed, the motor assembly is paired to a racing-prepared “Turbo 400″ automatic transmission that channels the motor’s torque to the same solid rear axle used in the production COPO Camaro race cars.
The battery pack of the electric COPO Camaro Concept is composed of four 200-volt modules, each weighing approximately 175 pounds, or 700 lbs total. Despite the heft, Chevy strategically mounted the battery packs evenly around the car for ideal weight distribution. Two of the them are located where the rear seats would be, while the other two are in the trunk: one in the spare tire would be, and the other in the area over the rear axle. All of this amounts to a 56 percent rear weight bias, helping the eCOPO squat for traction more effectively.
While testing is ongoing, Chevrolet estimates 9-second quarter-mile times are achievable. Which is Dodge Demon territory, albeit much, much quieter. Which begs the question: will the gear heads and track rats forgo the adrenaline rush that comes with the deafening roar of a race-prepped V8 engine? Or would the Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro help bring new crowds into drag racing? Time will likely soon tell.