No doubt tired of watching Ford Racing get all the accolades and headlines with their dominant position in various competitive venues for the past few years, Chevrolet has come up with their answer to the Cobra jet Mustang.
Chevrolet will build 69 COPO Camaros for 2012, the brand’s first purpose-built Camaro drag-racing specialty car designed to compete with the quickest in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. National records for quarter-mile times in these contests are in the nine-second range.
“The COPO Camaro is going to shake up the sportsman drag racing ranks this summer and give Chevy fans a great new reason to cheer on the Bowtie,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles & Motorsports. “COPO builds off the strengths that have made the Camaro the best-selling sports car in America. And while it was developed strictly for the drag strip, the COPO Camaro is infused with the same performance pedigree that every Camaro shares.”
The 69-car production for the 2012 COPO Camaro matches the number of “ZL-1” COPO Camaros made in 1969. COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was Chevrolet’s special-order system in used by dealers to build high-performance models in the 1960s.
The new COPO Camaros will be built using factory “body-in-white” body structures produced at the Oshawa, Ontario plant that manufactures regular-production Camaros. They are the same body-in-white body shells available to all racers under Chevrolet Performance part number 19243374.
Customers will order and complete the transaction for their COPO Camaro at their preferred Chevrolet dealer with delivery at the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich. Deliveries will begin early this summer.
The COPO Camaro is designed to NHRA racing specifications including a solid axle and a full chrome moly roll cage. Inside, most of the standard sound deadening and power accessories have been deleted in order to optimize weight for NHRA racing. Also included is a pair of racing bucket seats (no rear seat), a safety harness for the driver, a competition floor shifter and Chevrolet Performance gauges.
The three engines offered in the COPO Camaro program were developed to align with the top classes in NHRA’s various Stock Eliminator and Super Stock ranks. They are:
- An LS7-based naturally aspirated 427 (7.0L) V-8
- A supercharged, LSX-based 327 (5.3L) V-8 featuring a 2.9L supercharger
- A supercharged, LSX-based 327 (5.3L) V-8 featuring a 4.0L supercharger
The 2012 COPO Camaro is being offered as a performance part, with a specific part number (P/N 20129562). It cannot be registered, titled, licensed, or driven on public roads or highways. COPO is specifically offered for off-highway, competitive NHRA use only.
How will it compete against the Cobra Jet Mustang on the strip? We will have to wait till this summer’s events around the country at a drag strip near you.