The 2019 model year marks the 50th anniversary for GM’s COPO program, and Chevrolet just revealed its big birthday surprise at the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Known as the eCOPO, this nine-second, all-electric Camaro is looking to solidify EVs in the realm of drag racing. Looking back, however, Chevy’s reveal of a bright-yellow Camaro hue known as Shock might have been an early hint. We see what you did there, Chevy.
The eCOPO race car is an impressive beast, regardless of its power source. Through the use of an 800-volt battery pack—located in the rear of the car for optimal weight distribution—and two BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motors, it produces 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. And because it’s electric, all that glorious twisting force is available at 0 rpm. But unlike other EVs, the eCOPO sends its power to the ground through a three-speed, Turbo-400 automatic transmission for maximum torque multiplication. Chevrolet estimates that all of the above will send this Electric Blue Camaro hurtling down the quarter mile in only nine seconds.
Can an electric drag car instill the same excitement as its combusting counterparts? Chevrolet thinks so, and has devoted considerable time and effort into making EV conversions of this caliber easier for enthusiasts in the future. Notably, the electric motor setup shares a common bellhousing pattern with GM’s LS and LT series engines, making it a direct bolt-in swap for most Chevys featuring a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Chevrolet Performance stopped just short of saying that this will be available to consumers through their crate engine program, but we imagine it’s absolutely something on the radar for the near future.
It’s also worth looking at that the concept’s styling choices. Besides the somewhat-cheesy lightning bolt hood graphics, we noticed that this Camaro, like the Shock-yellow Camaro, features the “concept-only” front end that looks much-less heinous than the production car’s recent facelift. Could this signal that GM is serious on fast-tracking the visual update? We sure hope so.