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The eCOPO Camaro is an all-electric drag racing badass machine

Jeff Glucker October 30, 2018 Cars You Should Know, SEMA 14 Comments

Our electrified future is bright. Even when that brightness is being blotted out by excessive and glorious tire smoke. Said tires are being destroyed by a new drag-racing Chevrolet Camaro and this one is 100% electric. Say hello to the eCOPO Camaro concept.

Chevy has teamed up with BorgWarner to deliver an EV race car packing an 800-volt battery pack. It’s comprised of four 200-volt packs, and these power to a pair o HVH 250-150 motors. Each of those produces 300 pound-feet of torque and the total combined power output is 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. This prodigious presentation of push is routed through a Turbo 400 automatic gearbox that bolts to the standard production rear axle used on the COPO Camaro race cars. 

Chevy says the eCOPO will blitz the quarter mile in the nine-second range. This car is still a concept that’s currently under development though so who knows where it will truly run. Additionally, this car could serve as a platform for Chevy to roll out a line of electric crate motors. That’s not happening tomorrow but it is something you can expect in the not-too-distant future.

We still love our gas and diesel drinking engines here. But a nine-second all-electric drag-racing Camaro is pretty badass too.

  • neight428

    I’m curious how an electric motor works through a conventional automatic. I was under the impression that they didn’t really have an RPM limit, but I could be completely and totally wrong.

    • Zentropy

      There’s an rpm limit, but the torque curve is flat, so there’s typically only a need for one direct gear. My guess is Chevrolet paired this motor to a geared transmission so that (1) they can take advantage of gearing for better starting acceleration and higher top speed and (2) the automatic slushbox softens the power delivery so that the drivetrain isn’t twisted in two.

      • neight428

        In my brief self-education, I found that the practical limit is when the motors start tearing themselves apart above a certain rpm, which makes sense, along with other inefficiencies.

        • Lokki

          My father, an engineer, loved old 2-strokes SAABS for exactly that reason.

          He used to say “The redline is one rpm below the destruction point of the materials.”

          • I could have used that advice earlier.

  • Fred

    The thing I worry about is how many passes can I make before I loose charge? Also if you bracket race, how much slower do you go as charge depletes. I guess if it’s a real COPA car then it’s not street legal?

    • P161911

      I think most modern EV batteries are all or nothing. You will be either just as fast or sitting still.

    • Jeff Glucker

      Correct, not street legal.

      • Fred

        Well at least I don’t have to worry about charging to and from the track. The nearest drag strip is about 100 miles.

  • smalleyxb122

    “…a platform for Chevy to roll out a line of electric crate motors.”

    You can already buy a Remy HVH250. I suppose GM might bundle it into a kit they sell through GM Performance, but I don’t think GM is anxious to start winding their own stators.

    • Nobody is anxious to start winding their own stators.

  • neight428

    The lead photo makes me wonder, what does an electric dragster burnout sounds like.

    Off to YouTube…

    • Zentropy

      Better than I expected.

  • crank_case

    zzzzz..electric drag cars have been done by amateurs for ages, so I just couldn’t care less about this, there’s nothing new here. Build a sub 1000KG electric sports car that can do an entire (road course) track day without needing more than 10 minutes downtime every 5 laps for charging and I’ll be impressed.