Chevy is building an electric drag racing Camaro

Chevrolet's electric Camaro race car packs an 800-volt battery

The vibrant color is part of a 50 Anniversary Special Edition package Chevy will offer for the 2019 COPO Camaro.

To honor the original COPO almost half a century away, Chevrolet is showing at SEMA 2018 in Las Vegas the 2019 COPO Camaro, an anniversary-themed model that opens up next year's drag racing customization program. The drivetrain itself is actually a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies, hooked up to a regular racing-prepared "Turbo 400" automatic transmission.

Somehow, he did it, and the COPO Camaro was born in 1969.

The eCOPO Camaro Concept offers an electrified vision of drag racing, with an electric motor and GM's first 800-volt battery pack replacing the gas engine, enabling 9-second quarter-mile times. With 600 lb-ft of torque and 800 volts of battery power of power on tap, early testing of this prototype at Las Vegas Motor Speedway saw elapsed times solidly in the 9 - second range with trap speeds of more than 130 miles per hour.

Four battery packs weighing 175 pounds each are mounted near the back of the rear-wheel-drive vehicle to give it better traction off the line and use next-gen 800-watt technology, twice what today's electric cars use, for quicker charging and discharging. "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.

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That figure is on par with other automakers developing electric cars with 800-volt battery systems, such as the Porsche Taycan (nee Mission E) and the Aston Martin RapideE.

The latter modules are separated so that one is in the spare tire well and the other is mounted over the rear axle. 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. The roll cage in the trunk has been built out to also encompass the rear batteries.

More exciting, though, is the possibility of new electric crate engines. As the eCOPO Camaro shows, you can effectively drop in the electric motor as a straight replacement to the gas engine. Fifty years after the introduction of the original COPO Camaro, it takes the high-performance Camaro electric, dropping in a plug-and-play motor for more than 700 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. If you can LS swap it, why not electric swap it?

The motor assembly is created to bolt directly to most GM automatic transmissions.

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