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Chevy eCOPO Camaro is a 9-second electric drag-racing monster at SEMA

Where's YOUR drag car, Elon?


Chevrolet's COPO Camaro is one of a limited number of drag-racing-ready cars you can buy from a manufacturer. At SEMA 2018, Chevy outdid itself by creating a COPO concept that will rip through the quarter mile in relative silence.

Chevy unveiled the eCOPO Camaro concept at SEMA, the annual aftermarket trade show. It takes the general idea of a COPO Camaro -- build and sell a car specifically for drag racing -- and modified the idea with a 21st-century twist by way of a beefy electric motor.

The eCOPO Camaro gets its power from a pair of BorgWarner electric motors, with a net output of more than 700 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. All that torque is sent through a traditional "Turbo 400" automatic transmission to a solid rear axle, and it's enough to shove this concept down a quarter-mile drag strip somewhere in the 9-second range.

The electric motors might be silent, but the tires sure won't be.


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. Its 800-volt system will make for some fast charging, which is helpful at a drag strip, where the action never really slows down. Porsche will use an 800-volt system in its upcoming Taycan EV, too.

Chevrolet didn't go it alone on this project. It relied on help from Hancock and Lane Racing, a team that has experience with electric drag racers. The team also worked with Bothell High School's automotive technology program in Seattle, with multiple students contributing to the development and assembly of the concept.

Best of all, this package is something Chevy could actually offer to the public. 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. Electric crate motors aren't the stuff of science fiction anymore.

When you're pulling quarter-mile times this low, the trunk-mounted parachute isn't just for show.


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