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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Chevrolet Camaro eCOPO is A 700 HP Electric Drag Car

      Do electric cars dream of the dragstrip? This Camaro concept does.


    How do you celebrate 50 years since the introduction of the original COPO Chevrolet Camaro drag car? If you're Chevrolet, you unveil a concept COPO Camaro with an electric powertrain.

    Today at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Chevrolet introduced the eCOPO Camaro Concept. Developed with pioneering electric drag racing team Hancock and Lane Racing, the eCOPO uses an electric motor providing 700 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet estimates that the eCOPO can do the quarter-mile in nine seconds.

    Beginning with a standard COPO Camaro, the V8 engine is swapped for an electric motor assembly comprised of two BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motors. This teamed with a Turbo 400 automatic transmission. In the trunk resides an all-new 800-volt battery pack that allows for "a more efficient power transfer to the electric motor and supports faster recharging." The battery pack is arranged in such a way to allow for a 44/56 front-to-rear weight ratio.

    What makes the eCOPO concept unique is the electric motor "has the same bell house mounting pattern and crankshaft flange" as Chevrolet's LS family of engines. This means you could swap the standard V8 engine for an electric powertrain without having to change other driveshaft components. 

    “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,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors.

    H/T to @67impss for letting us know about the eCOPO

    Gallery: Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro Concept

    Source: Chevrolet


    eCOPO Camaro Race Car Concept Electrifies Drag Racing

    LAS VEGAS — Fifty years after the original COPO Camaro special order performance models were introduced, Chevrolet’s eCOPO Camaro Concept demonstrates 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 entirely electric powered, driven by an electric motor providing the equivalent of more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.

    Chevrolet estimates quarter-mile times in the 9-second range. Testing is ongoing.

    “The eCOPO Concept is all about where we go in the future with electrification in the high performance space,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors. “The original COPO Camaro program was all about pushing the envelope, and this concept is an exploration with the very same spirit.”

    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.

    “This project exemplifies Chevrolet and General Motors’ commitment to engaging young minds in STEM education,” said O’Blenes. “It also represents our goal of a world with zero emissions, with the next generation of engineers and scientists who will help us get there.”   

    800 volts

    Just as the original 1969 COPO Camaro models relied on creative engineering to make them successful in Stock Eliminator drag racing, the eCOPO breaks new ground with its unique motor and GM’s first 800-volt battery back.

    The electric motor is based on a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies, each generating 300 lb-ft of torque, and replaces the gas 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.

    “Eight hundred volts is more than twice the voltage of the battery packs in the production Chevrolet Volt and Bolt EV, so the eCOPO pushes into new technological territory,” says O’Blenes. “As GM advances its electrification leadership, a big step might just come from the drag strip.”

    The battery pack is composed of four 200-volt modules, each weighing approximately 175 pounds, mounted strategically in the car for optimal weight distribution. Two are located in the rear seat area and the other two are in the trunk: one in the spare tire well and the other in the area over the rear axle.

    A full Battery Management System monitors all critical voltages and temperatures within the pack. It ties into a comprehensive safety system that continuously evaluates all vehicle electrical components for proper function and safe operation. The batteries in the rear compartment are sealed off from the interior and an integrated driveshaft tunnel has been added between the modules for increased protection. Additionally, the roll cage in the trunk area has been expanded to provide additional protection for the rear-mounted modules.

    With the modules’ strategic positions, the eCOPO Camaro has greater than a 56 percent rear-weight bias, which helps launch the car more efficiently.

    Electric crate motors

    The eCOPO Camaro Concept expands Chevrolet and General Motors’ electrification development and supports future product development. It also suggests a potential new avenue for Chevrolet’s crate engine and performance parts portfolio.

    The eCOPO Camaro’s electric motor has the same bell house mounting pattern and crankshaft flange as the popular LS-family engines in Chevrolet’s crate engine portfolio. That allows it to bolt up to just about any General Motors transmission. In fact, the transmission, driveshaft and other drivetrain components remain in the same locations as in a gasoline-powered COPO Camaro race car, meaning the electric motor simply bolts into the engine compartment in place of the gas engine.  

    “The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers,” said O’Blenes. “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.”

    In the meantime, Chevrolet and Hancock and Lane Racing will continue to develop the eCOPO Camaro and test it on the drag strip, seeking quicker elapsed times with all-new technology.

    The eCOPO Concept, shown in Electric Blue, joins the 50th anniversary 2019 COPO Camaro production race car and approximately two dozen additional Chevrolet concepts and show vehicles at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas through Nov. 2.




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    AWESOME eCOPO and Crate Electric Motors with an 800 Volt battery pack like what Porsche is doing will open up the doors wide to cleaner, less noisy racing. That would be awesome! :metal:

    Hopefully they will post pictures of the engine bay and battery pack.

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    Have to say, this made me look at the Media Center and WOW, some awesome Camaro stories:

    Some great old cars with modern crate motors.

    https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2018/oct/sema/1016-chevelle-crate.html 

    The 2019 Camaro shock is very cool.

    https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2018/oct/sema/1016-camaro-shock.html 

    The new 2019 COPO Camaro is also cool, but WOW talk about hard to see out the glass on this.

    https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2018/oct/sema/1029-copo.html 

    Course the eCOPO Camaro is very cool and I see they do have a look at the engine bay. WOW, talk about throwing ICE hard cores for a loop.

    https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2018/oct/sema/1029-e-copo.html 

    SEMACamaro07.jpg

    8 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Way cool concept.  But I suspect the old-school Camaro fans will flip their gray mullet wigs over this. 

    I am sure @ocnblu will come in here and down vote everyone / everything and hate on all things EV. :smilewide: :duck:

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    I kinda like the tech of this, all driveline bolts up to a standard Chevy bell housing. Though other than reaction time at the light and maybe axle ratio's the races will be hundred thousands differentes I'm thinking that you won't see who's the winner other than the lights. So how many motors can be coupled together, I'm channeling Tommy Ivo!

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    In things like various authorizing and road racing venues quit race cars could allow more runs and races. Would also generate full torque from zero throttle so would be huge in autocross.

    I like this!

    Time to replace the ICE powertrain.

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    I'm not so sure about that Horse the way drag racing drive lines work now the transmission limits torque output to allow tires to grip and not go up into smoke. They use centrifical force to engage the clutch pack and add extra clamping force once it's fully engaged (I'm thinking that you knew that but was thinking of others) One things for sure this sure will add to a very expensive sport already 🤑

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    1 hour ago, Robert Hall said:

    Wow..an electric motor mated to an old school racing Turbo 400 and solid rear axle.  Surreal to think about. 

    Imagine using the space between the wheels for that 800V battery pack, equal to Porsche and dropping in the 700HP / 600 lb-ft of torque motor in my Suburban.  :wub:

    Muttangs eat your heart out! 

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    GM has been eating Mustang's breakfast for years my 90 Grand Prix STE Turbo ate 🦊 body's all day and the Roadmaster did all night. But I get ya a lowered Burbon with that set up would be way too much fun 😂

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    1 hour ago, 67impss said:

    GM has been eating Mustang's breakfast for years my 90 Grand Prix STE Turbo ate 🦊 body's all day and the Roadmaster did all night. But I get ya a lowered Burbon with that set up would be way too much fun 😂

    If you have been beating Ford products and especially Mustangs food and drink is on me if we ever get together.

    2 hours ago, 67impss said:

    I'm not so sure about that Horse the way drag racing drive lines work now the transmission limits torque output to allow tires to grip and not go up into smoke. They use centrifical force to engage the clutch pack and add extra clamping force once it's fully engaged (I'm thinking that you knew that but was thinking of others) One things for sure this sure will add to a very expensive sport already 🤑

    I was thinking more in general about EV in motorsports. This particular camaro is  1320 special.

    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Imagine using the space between the wheels for that 800V battery pack, equal to Porsche and dropping in the 700HP / 600 lb-ft of torque motor in my Suburban.  :wub:

    Muttangs eat your heart out! 

    The only good Ford is one coming in second to a GM  product....or a Subaru...or a Porsche...or...any number of other makes.

    Although with multiple entries the Mustang can come in twelfth for all I care....

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    30 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Um... No thank you. It's cool and all but not my cup of tea. 

    Too quiet for you? :duck:

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    Just now, A Horse With No Name said:

    I think it is rather harass actually.

    Oh it "harasses" the Camaro legend alright.  And it will soon be forgotten, gathering cobwebs in a corner, or better yet... crushed.

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    Does anyone else who looked at the picture under the hood with the yellow cables think back to the Accell spark plug cables in the 70's😀 and the 800volt battery pack has to be code for a V8 package Z/...?

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