All the smoke, but zero the noise.
‘Disguise’ can take on many forms. In the world of espionage, infiltration often requires the use of disguise, either to gain access to enemy facilities without raising an eyebrow. Indeed, disguise is also used in propaganda, taking new-thinking and packaging it in such a way that it seems harmless and even identifiable, even though it usually propagates a movement that could destabilise governments. It’s the best way to ensure something new catches on, by putting all that ‘new-ness’ in an identifiable and comfortable form for digestion.
That’s what Tesla did with the Model S, which took all of the company’s cutting-edge technology and innovation and put it in the easily-swallowed form of a sleek, beautiful luxury saloon, which is why it sold in much healthier numbers than the Tesla Roadster that preceded it. And now it’s the turn of Chevrolet who have, in order for maximum infiltration into the diehard internal-combustion camp, taken their muscle-car poster-child Camaro and fitted it with a fully-electric powertrain.
We’ll give you a second to compose yourself.
The Camaro eCOPO, and was developed by Chevrolet’s high-performance COPO division. With over 522kW of power and 813Nm of torque, the Camaro eCOPO is just a concept for the time being, but shows off a future that certainly seems very exciting (if a bit quiet). It’ll do the quarter mile (or 400m) in about 9-seconds, though testing is ongoing (which could mean an even shorter time later on).
There are two motor assemblies, that have been bolted to a conventional racing-transmission that sends all that power to the rear wheels. At least it isn’t all-wheel drive, which would certainly piss off muscle-car purists to a degree hitherto unknown to man.
The Camaro is a drag strip demon, which is no small feat for an electric car: Electric cars can smoke most performance vehicles in a straight line, but in quick turnaround eliminations (where you have to sprint to one end, turn around, and sprint back to win) electric cars tend to falter, as batteries can only really offer up maximum power for short bursts, and repetitive bursts tend to be restricted in order to preserve the battery.
However, the Chevrolet Camaro eCOPO uses a larger, more powerful 800V battery system, which allows more power to get fed back into the motors on the second run. Thus far, there’s been no mention of what battery pack it ultimately uses, but it’ll probably be either very large, or very small (enough to charge up and down a dragstrip, for example).
What’s interesting is that the Camaro eCOPO is not just a concept car to have fun in at SEMA. Instead, the powertrain in the eCOPO may later become one of the “biggest tools in the performance parts area,” or more commonly known as a crate motor. A plug-and-play engine & drivetrain setups could speed up conversions of racecars, hot rods, and vintage machines too. While some of you may shudder at the idea of a V8-less muscle car, others will undoubtedly be very intrigued by the idea of silent progress in a classic performance car, perhaps the same people who loved the electric Jaguar E-Type.