Fifty years after the original COPO Camaro special order performance models were introduced, Chevrolet’s eCOPO Camaro Concept is demonstrating an electrified vision for drag racing. Developed by General Motors and built in partnership with the pioneering electric drag racing team Hancock and Lane Racing, the concept race car—based on the 2019 COPO Camaro—is driven by an electric motor providing the equivalent of more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft (813 N·m) of torque.
Chevrolet estimates quarter-mile times in the 9-second range. Testing is ongoing. Chevrolet partnered with Hancock and Lane Racing not only because of the team’s success in NHRA drag racing, but also its involvement with Patrick McCue, the driving force behind the record-holding “Shock and Awe” electric drag racing car, and his Seattle-area Bothell High School automotive technology program. With the racing team’s assistance, more than a dozen students participated in the development and assembly of the electrified drag car.
The electric motor is based on a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies, each generating 300 lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque, and replaces the gasoline engine. It is connected to a conventional 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 all-new 800-volt battery pack enables a more efficient power transfer to the electric motor and supports faster recharging, which is important for the limited time between elimination rounds in drag racing.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.