Chevrolet just unveiled a fully electric Camaro drag racer at the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas. This Camaro is based on the famed COPO Camaro, but features a fully electric drivetrain that could make it faster than a Dodge Demon. Yep, Chevy estimates it can run the 1/4-mile in around 9 seconds – about half a second quicker than the 840 horsepower Challenger.
Located in strategic placements around the floor are four 200 volt battery packs. Together they make up the 800 volts that power the eCOPO Camaro. Each battery pack weighs 175 pounds. Two are located where the rear seats would be, and two are placed in the trunk. Placing all of the battery packs in the rear helps shift weight towards the back half of the eCOPO. This puts more weight over the rear wheels, which helps for more efficient launches on the drag strip.
Those 800 volts have to power something. In the eCOPO Camaro, that something is a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies. The two motors combine to make more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. Interestingly, the electric motors do not directly power the rear wheels. Instead, power is sent through a traditional racing-prepared “Turbo 400” automatic transmission. Like a regular COPO Camaro, if you could ever call one of those ‘regular’, the eCOPO uses a solid rear axle for better launch-ability.
What is the payoff for all of Chevy’s engineering? Testing is still ongoing. However, Chevy has estimated the eCOPO Camaro can run a quarter-mile time in the 9 second range. That’s an impressive figure, and again faster than an SRT Demon, if it’s accurate.
Electric Crate Engines?
One other little gem came out of this press release. Chevy made it clear that the eCOPO Camaro, “suggests a potential new avenue for Chevrolet’s crate engine and performance parts portfolio”. Chevy made it so that this electric motor has the same bell house mounting pattern and crankshaft flange as the LS-family V8 engines. So, hypothetically, Chevy could sell this motor setup as a crate engine in the near future.
Unfortunately, this eCOPO Camaro is just a concept for now. Chevy has not announced any plans to sell a production version of the car. However, it seems that may not be too far out of the realm of possibility going forward. Manufacturers like Volkswagen and Porsche are already finding out that electric, or electrified race cars can turn into dominant performers given the right race format. Perhaps Chevy has come to the same conclusion as well.
For more news on the eCOPO Camaro, stay tuned to TFLcar.com. Also come back for the latest news, views & real-world reviews and more coverage of the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas.
If an electric Camaro isn’t for you, there are plenty of other Camaros you can buy. Take, for example, the Camaro 4-cylinder Turbo 1LE, which Nathan recently had the chance to drive: