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Chevrolet Unveil Electric Camaro Drag Racer

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By Dave Ashton

We were wondering who would be the first car maker out of the blocks with an electrified pony or muscle car. Now it seems to be Chevy with their eCOPO Camaro just ahead of the opening for the SEMA show, Las Vegas.

The car is completely electric powered and has been developed alongside Hancock and Lane Racing, who are behind the all electric Pontiac Firebird ‘Shock and Awe’ capable of an eight second quarter-mile time. The Camaro features a new 800 V battery from General Motors capable of 700 hp and 600 pound-feet of torque. This should equate to a possible nine second quarter mile time.

The motor (can we still say powertrain?) consists of two BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motors, linked to a regular automatic transmission and fixed rear axle as in conventional drag racers. The electric motor is powered by a battery pack with four 175 pounds, 200-volt modules, spread throughout the car for even weight distribution. One being near the rear seats, the other near the spare tire well and the other over the rear axle. The roll cage has also been adapted to cover the batteries. the weight distribution works out to a 44/56 ratio.

If the system works out, it looks likely that the electric motor setup could be an aftermarket crate engine. The bell housing and other features are similar to the LS line of V8 engines, which means it could in theory seamlessly be fitted to any GM transmission. Thus, it’s likely in the very near future anybody wanting to retrofit their GM built car with an electric engine may have a direct replacement to purchase.

Once SEMA is fully underway, it will be interesting to see if there any other electric engine/car offerings.

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