Curiously, the sales results for the Russo and Steele Monterey auction does not include the fully electric eCOPO Camaro drag racer.
Russo and Steele representatives have confirmed to MC&T that the one-of-one eCOPO Camaro was a no sale when it crossed the block at the Monterey auction in August. Russo and Steele estimated that the electric COPO Camaro would go from anywhere between $425,000 to $525,000 USD. While that may seem steep, it this one-off Camaro would have made quite the novel addition to the garage of any serious collector. Performance wise, the eCOPO can cross the quarter mile in just 9.51 seconds at 140 miles per hour – faster than a Dodge Demon.
The eCOPO Camaro is powered by an 800-volt electric motor providing the equivalent of more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. It’s GM’s first 800-volt battery back, made up of four 200-volt modules, totaling 700 pounds in weight. Two of theses battery packs are placed where the rear seat used to be, and the other two in the trunk. This gives the electric COPO Camaro a 56 percent rear weight bias in an effort to get those rear tires to hook up more effectively at the drag strip. All of this electricity is sent to a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies, each generating 300 lb-ft of torque. It is connected to a conventional racing-prepared “Turbo 400” automatic transmission that channels the motor’s torque to the same solid rear axle used in the gas-powered COPO Camaro race cars.
Chevrolet spokesperson Kevin Kelly tells us that the brand “was not involved” in the process or sale of the eCOPO, despite initial reporting of General Motors being the consigner. That would imply that Hancock and Lane Racing – the company that co-developed the eCOPO Camaro – took the electric dragster to market. That said, Hancock and Lane did not respond to our queries at the time of this writing.
There’s a lot of conclusions to be drawn from this. The eCOPO Camaro represented a significant leap for alternative propulsion systems in drag racing. Additionally, it aligned itself with GM’s current marching orders towards a future with “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion” and the cadence of future electric vehicles that implies. This has certainly agitated the performance community, the Camaro demographic among them.
Even if Chevrolet was not directly involved in the sale of this electric dragster, this non-sale can be seen as a barometer as to whether or not the drag racing world is ready for alternative propulsion systems, and/or if the market is receptive to something as radical as an electric Camaro. We have been following the future of the Camaro closely, and we understand that the sixth-generation Camaro will run its course until 2023. Beyond that, there’s nothing planned, and what was originally planned for the seventh generation Camaro has been put on the shelf.
In the off chance that GM is planning on reintroducing the high-octane pony car as an EV, this non-sale may be an early indicator that such a move may not be the best idea.
Expect this story to be updated with more details on the auction shortly, including the final bid price of the eCOPO.