eCOPO Camaro runs 9s for the first time

All of you who questioned the bona fides of the wild all-electric eCOPO Camaro dragster can officially shut up. The car peeled off a 9.837-second pass last weekend. And yes, it happened in competition at a sanctioned event, thank you very much.

Plenty of gearheads scoffed when Pat McCue and his crew unveiled the, ahem, electric blue Camaro at SEMA last year. They wondered whether a battery-powered drag car would do smokey burnouts, whether electronic nannies like traction control would render the driver a mere passenger, whether it was a real race car. A few minutes chatting with Pat McCue, co-owner of McCue & Lane Electric Race Cars, left no doubt that the answers to those questions are yes, no, and oh hell yes.

Every part of the driveline is identical to what you’ll find in the V-8 powered COPO you see at NHRA events nationwide, from the torque converter to the three-speed Turbo 400 transmission to the 9-inch live axle running 6.0:1 gearing. But instead of a big honkin’ V-8, this car sports a pair of electric motors in series that produce around 750 horsepower. The motors draw juice from a 32 kilowatt-hour battery pack, which is more than big enough for an afternoon’s runs.

Getting the 3200-pound Camaro off the line and down the track with all due haste requires no less skill than it does in a car that spews CO2, and reading the track conditions to nail the launch remains essential. Testing always suggested the car could run in the nines, and McCue proved it Saturday when he made a 9.837-second pass at 134.07mph during the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals.

With that, McCue and his crew put the doubters and haters on notice: The future of the sport is electrifying.


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