Here at the SEMA Show, Chevrolet unveiled an all-electric 700 hp eCOPO Camaro concept drag car. Chevrolet boasts 9-second quarter-mile times from the 800-volt lightning bolt. I can just hear the loudest grump from “Grumpy” Jenkins while Don Yenko and “Smokey” Yunick roll in their graves.
What in the name of Sam Hill? How can you have a smoke-bellowing burnout without the roar of open-headers and the sweet smell of racing fuel? It’s Americana at it’s best, but is the tide shifting? Please, only throw rubber bricks at your computer screen, or throw your phone into a pillow – I feel your pain.
Chevrolet Performance eCOPO Camaro Powered by 800-volts
While we’re in debate in the tool industry about 18, 24, 56-volts, etc., Chevrolet is upping the game with 800-volts. Chevrolet performance says with 800-volts, they’re able to provide power to the electric motors more efficiently, while enabling a faster recharge time as well. Currently, their existing production electric car, Chevy Volt, only uses 400-volt battery packs.
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To attain the 800-volts to power this beast, they use four 200-volt modules. Two of these battery modules are located in the rear-seat area, and the other two reside in the trunk. Each of these battery modules weighs in at 175-lbs., so this makes for great ballast when placed. in strategic places.
eCOPO Camaro Powerplant and Drivetrain
So, with 800-volts of batteries, how does the eCOPO Camaro get down the track? Two Borg Warner HVH 250-150 electric motors mate to a Turbo-Hydramatic 400 transmission. Each BW motor generates 300 lb-ft of torque, hence the sum total of 600 lb-ft of tire-shredding power. Ultimately, the power transfers to the solid rear-axle and drag-slicks on the two rear corners.
“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 expects the eCOPO Camaro to be in the 9-second window for the quarter-mile; however, the electrified Chevy is still in the testing phase. We read this as: “we haven’t made it there yet, but we’re still trying.”
Our Thoughts on the eCOPO Camaro
This is the 50th anniversary of the original COPO Camaro. In case you’re wondering, COPO originally stood for Central Office Production Order, typically meant for fleet orders. This was a way for dealerships to get big-horsepower motors stuffed into their cars of choice. Basically, factory race cars, like a Camaro with a 500-hp 427 big-block.
We think it’s great that Chevrolet is continuing the tradition of the COPO cars, and we’re a big fan of options – 327, 350, 427, or 800V. There’s only so much we can take of Tesla 4-dr sedans kicking the butts of American musclecars, on the streets and on the track. It will take some time to get used to only hearing the tires squeal, without the screaming 8-cylinder open-header powerplants. However, in the end, it’s the neck-breaking, seat-of-the-pants, quick acceleration that puts the smile on our faces, hence it’s all about torque. You can’t beat electric when it comes to torque. We look forward to seeing these cars at the track and on the streets.
Find the original press release here.
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