Watch and Listen to the Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro’s First-Ever Drag Strip Run
The electric dragster is putting its 780 horsepower to good use.
At the 2018 SEMA show, Chevy teased audiences with a view of its 2019 eCOPO Camaro concept, then published a video of the electric drag racer doing a burnout with no engine noise. Since then, news on the eCOPO has been pretty quiet, but that's because the car has been in the shop at Hancock and Lane Racing, getting prepped for its inaugural dragstrip run. The motorsports team has recently finished its work, and employee Cody Lane has put out some footage of the Camaro flexing its electric muscles.
The eCOPO does all the things you expect a drag monster to do, even pulling a massive wheelie off the starting line, but it does them in a silent, almost zen-like way. In the video, the Camaro flies past the bright orange Chevy truck in the opposing lane, crossing the finish with a quarter-mile time of 10.14 seconds at 130 miles per hour. In the description, Lane notes that the eCOPO was only running at about 80 percent power for the run, and should be able to post mid-nine-second times at full-steam.
Unlike most modern electric vehicles, which use one or more motors directly connected to the wheels, the Camaro's dual motors reside right underneath the hood. They bolt right up to the Turbo 400 automatic transmission sourced from the gas COPO, which in turn transfers power to a good old-fashioned solid rear axle.
Cody Lane tells The Drive through online correspondence that the eCopo runs nine-inch Mickey Thompson drag radials at the rear. He also mentions that the car is able to make three quarter-mile passes before battery drainage cause power to decline. At that point, the Camaro needs about 30 minutes of charge time to get back to full power. In practice, Hancock and Lane gave the car a quick charge between each pass to make sure it was running at a consistent voltage during testing.
The twin electric motors were supplied by BorgWarner. According to Lane, they put out the equivalent of about 780 horsepower, with torque in equal measure. As of this writing, the eCOPO is one-of-a-kind, and General Motors is not planning on selling it. However, the company has hinted at the possibility of producing electric motor swap kits that use all the same mounts as a Chevy small block V8. If such a kit came to market, it could make electric conversions almost as easy as the tried-and-true LS swap.