Want to own a 1100-horsepower electric Camaro capable of making a 9-second pass down a quarter-mile dragstrip? You’ll get a chance to bid on the only one in existence at this week’s Russo and Steele’s Monterey auction.
Every year since 2012, Chevrolet has produced 69 NHRA-certified COPO Camaro drag racers, in part to commemorate the 69 ZL1 Camaros it made in 1969, after Don Yenko figured out how to game General Motors’ Central Office Production Order system to offer factory-built hot rods at his family's Pennsylvania Chevy store.
Since this is the 21st century, last year McCue & Lane Electric Race Cars created the eCOPO concept, which Chevrolet showed at the 2018 SEMA show. It is the only one of its kind. More recently it was featured on the cover of the May 2019 issue of Motor Trend magazine. It’s a fully race-prepped drag racer, only instead of some kind of LS or LT family V-8 engine it’s powered by two 700-amp permanent magnet AC electric motors and a 32 kW, 800-volt battery pack made up of four modular 200-volt packs. Other than a custom hood with lightning graphics and some bespoke eCOPO logos, from the Turbo 400 transmission back, the eCopo is identical to the gasoline-powered COPO Camaros, with a nine-inch solid rear axle running 6.0:1 gears.
In case you’re skeptical that the eCOPO is vaporware, this past February, McCue & Lane took it to Pomona, California, for the 2019 Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, where it ripped a 9.837-second quarter-mile pass, with a trap speed of 134.07 mph, in officially sanctioned competition. Since then it has gone even quicker, posting a 9.51 quarter-mile time at over 140 mph.
If you should win the auction, you’ll be able to make three quarter-mile passes on a fully charged battery pack, but since it only takes about 25 minutes for a full recharge, you’ll have plenty of time between rounds to top up the electrons for maximum available power. Pat McCue says a third motor could be added to theoretically increase power to over 1100 horsepower, but because of voltage sag from the batteries when high power is called for, we’ll have to wait for more advanced batteries before all that power can be harnessed.
Oh, and in case you want to one-up your neighbor, who has a Ludicrous Mode-equipped Tesla Model S, you can’t settle things on the street. Like all the other modern COPO Camaros (and unlike Don Yenko’s original COPOs), the eCOPO Camaro is not street-legal. It has a serial number, not a DOT-acceptable VIN.
The Russo and Steele Monterey auction runs August 15–17. The eCOPO Camaro, lot #8053, is expected to cross the auction block between 8:40–9 p.m. on Friday, August 16.