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

General Motors has unveiled a new eCOPO concept in a Camaro shell, as a toe dipped into the water of where the COPO programme is headed
Chevrolet’s New COPO Drag Racer Is A 9-Second Electric Car

You’re looking at Chevrolet’s newest addition to its long line of Central Office Production Order (COPO) performance specials. And it’s electric.

Based on the 2019 Camaro – which already has the SS model’s emergency facelift – the eCOPO concept packs a pair of BorgWarner electric motors built into a single assembly, capable of troubling the rear tyres with over 700bhp and 600lb ft of torque. The transmission is, interestingly, a conventional automatic, suggesting that the eCOPO has functional gears.

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

The motor has the same bell housing mounting pattern and crankshaft flange as the LS family of V8s, meaning any gearbox that fits an LS should fit the eCOPO motor. The motor is designed in such a way, says GM, that to switch a compatible car to electric power you only need to remove the engine and bolt the motor into its place.

Mounting the motor at the front does increase driveline frictional losses and means the motor has a lot more metal to spin, but the potential for easy EV swaps is astonishing.

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

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. It runs on Chevrolet’s first 800v electrical system, made up of four 200v modules weighing almost 80kg each that are placed strategically around the chassis for better weight distribution.

Further to the running concept is a potential crate ‘engine’ programme. The motor and battery packs could be made available in the future as a turn-key crate-delivered powerplant, just like today’s LS and LT V8s. Russ O’Blenes, director of Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors said:

“The eCOPO Concept is all about where we go in the future with electrification in the high performance space. The original COPO Camaro program was all about pushing the envelope, and this concept is an exploration with the very same spirit.

“The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers. 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.

“We’re not there yet, but it’s something we’re exploring.”


10/30/2018 - 10:37 |
3 | 1
Martin Burns

Well that’s awesome news! Thanks Chevy, neat car

10/30/2018 - 10:49 |
8 | 4

And the fact that this motor should bolt to most LS and LT bell housings, I’m super intrigued. Plus it’s punishment to all the LS guys when people start 800v swapping their Corvettes and Camaro’s.

10/30/2018 - 12:14 |
10 | 2

RX7 is scared

10/30/2018 - 10:53 |
13 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

EV-LS swap incoming!

10/31/2018 - 12:19 |
2 | 0
jdm-supra-1600(md squad)(Supra squad leader)

Tesla called and they want their engine back

10/30/2018 - 11:16 |
6 | 3
ShadowHuayra (HemiPower)

Electric Camaro??

10/30/2018 - 11:25 |
111 | 0
FLixy Madfox

Electric Camaro oh that’s pretty neat

10/30/2018 - 12:01 |
23 | 1
Joel Lundin

Wow that’s awesome

10/30/2018 - 12:09 |
1 | 1

What I want to know is if there are going to be swap kits now

10/30/2018 - 12:19 |
0 | 0

Imagine being at a drag strip with only electric cars. That would be so sad

10/30/2018 - 12:34 |
12 | 1

In reply to by Lauge

We still have nostalgia drags now, even if they become obsolete, people will race gas.

10/31/2018 - 02:32 |
1 | 0

I love this idea. It’s not an all-new electric car but rather a motor unit with the same bolt pattern as all the LS V8s, so it can be retrofitted to pretty much any GM car ever made. An electric motor unit that bolts to the exact same bell housing as the LS V8 means that it can be combined with a wide variety of transmissions, like the Corvette’s 7-speed manual or the excellent 10-speed automatic.

If they start selling that unit as a crate motor, it will be the dream coming true for everybody who wanted to do an electric motor swap because you can use a wide array of LS conversion kits that already exist.

10/30/2018 - 12:42 |
39 | 2

In reply to by Jakob

Love this idea too. Similar to some of the stuff by EV-West.

10/30/2018 - 17:46 |
4 | 0

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