2022 Chevrolet COPO Camaro Unveiled With Biggest V8 From Any American Automaker
It pops wheelies, just like you hoped for.
Chevy has unveiled the newest COPO Camaro, and it's a bit more...aggressive than expected. Sure, the classic COPO's 7.0-liter monster was nothing to sneeze at, but this latest version goes even further. Forget 427 cubic inches; that's just not enough.
As well as being offered with a supercharged 5.7-liter V8 and the classic 427, the new COPO Camaro enters the 2022 model year with a 9.4 liter—or 572-cubic-inch—V8. Indeed, it's the largest car engine GM makes.
The 2022 COPO Camaro is not street legal, to be clear. It's a purpose-built drag racing machine. As we described before, it has its roots planted firmly in Chevy drag racing history, namely the NHRA's Stock and Super Stock eliminator classes. That doesn't make its honkin' V8 any less impressive, of course; if anything, it makes it cooler.
The engine features four-bolt main caps, a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel rods, and forged aluminum pistons. You could say it's built like a brick... shore house. The iron-block 572 features aluminum heads as well, and all COPOs come equipped with a three-speed automatic transmission from ATI Racing Products.
All of this can be yours starting at $105,500 before dealer fees. That may sound expensive for a track toy, but keep in mind that fewer than 700 new COPO Camaros have been built since the program was jolted back to life in 2012. More people own modern Bugattis than COPO Camaros.
Chevy detailed power figures for this monster of an engine not in the press release, but in a separate COPO order form. It already makes a few 572 crate engines, the most powerful of which produces 727 horsepower and 680 pound-feet of torque, but this particular motor has been choked down to 430 horsepower to fit into a specific NHRA class. The 6,750 RPM-capable 572 installed in the COPO is also fuel-injected, unlike its more powerful siblings.
If you'd rather have the supercharged 5.7-liter, it makes 600 horsepower; the naturally aspirated 427 V8 produces an NHRA-rated 470 hp.
The Detroit automaker has previously restricted sales of the COPO Camaros to just 69 a year, but that's not the case anymore. Perhaps because the future seems uncertain for internal combustion, or perhaps because Camaro sales are in the gutter, Chevy has decided to accommodate as many customers as possible on a first-come, first-serve basis. It will be available starting in late 2021.
More Chevy Camaro Coverage on The Drive
- While this all-new COPO is powered by old-fashioned gasoline, the standard Camaro may be replaced by an electric performance sedan.
- Chevy apparently considered a Camaro Z/28 with the upcoming Corvette Z06's flat-plane crank V8, but it passed on the idea.
- In other cheery news, Camaro sales are in a death spiral right now and no one quite knows how to fix that.
- Maybe the right answer is to keep the current-gen around until 2026.
- Nobody will ever be as ticked as the guy who butchered his Camaro with a Sawzall to get back at lowballers.
- To close on a good note, check out this '81 Camaro that pumps out roughly 2,400 horsepower.
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