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The Chevrolet COPO Camaro is a purpose built vehicle meant for one thing: Drag Racing. The COPO Camaro debuted at the 2011 SEMA show as a concept, and since then we have heard little of the drag racers fate, but today Chevrolet announced that they will be building 69 of the performance driven cars in 2012.
Meant for the NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes, the COPO Camaro will be the fastest Camaro built to date. There will be three engine options available for the drag racing Camaro, a naturally aspirated 7.0L V8, a 5.3L V8 featuring a 2.9L supercharger, and another 5.3L V8, this one featuring a 4.0L supercharger.
“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, the General Motors U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports.
The COPO Camaro is designed to meet NHRA specifications with a solid axle and full chrome moly roll cage. It will come outfitted with a Powerglide automatic transmission designed for drag racing and be available in five colors: Flat Black, Summit White, Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic and Ashen Gray Metallic. This drag raced focused car will not even be street legal, making it even more niche.
The COPO Camaro will start at $89,000, but don’t hold out for one, a third party company was brought in to distribute all 69 cars to specific buyers to ensure a fair process was used when selling the cars.
Chevrolet revealed their COPO Camaro, Hot Wheels Camaro and a special Chevelle yesterday and AutoGuide was on hand for the reveal at the Wynn hotel.
We also managed to get some video with representatives of both Hot Wheels and Chevrolet to walk you through the cars. Hit the jump to check it out.
For more SEMA coverage, click here
Chevrolet hosted a special event at the Wynn in Las Vegas to showcase three new muscle cars, as well as the special edition Sonics already brought to you by AutoGuide.
First up was the Chevrolet Camaro COPO concept, a preview of what Chevrolet says is their potential NHRA Eliminator class dragster. While Chevy says that the car is a concept, Ford’s Mustang Cobra Jet means that the COPO will almost certainly go into production just to make sure that Chevrolet has a dog in the fight. With a 9″ live rear axle conversion, roll cage, 2 speed Powerglide transmission and a choice of two crate motors (a supercharged 327 or a 427), the COPO could be a serious contender on the dragstrip.
Chevrolet also unveiled a special Chevelle commissioned by Dale Earnhadrt Jr, which was designed to show off their new crate motor program. Chevrolet will now offer a turnkey package featuring a motor, transmission and all wiring and ancillaries that will enable hot-rodders to simply drop in a complete drivetrain with minimal work involved. Two 4-speed automatics will be offered with either a naturally aspirated smallblock or a blown LSA V8.
Lastly, a special edition Hot Wheels Camaro Concept, commemorating 45 years of Hot Wheels toys. The concept features a special paint treatment similar to the original die-cast cars, designed to give the Camaro a shimmering paintjob, with a process involving the entire car being chromed as well as painted.
Gallery: Chevrolet Camaro COPO, Hot Wheels Camaro Concept and Chevelle Crate Engine
In the glory days of the muscle car, Chevrolet dealers would sometimes manipulate GM’s centralized ordering system to whip up some crazy concoctions with performance parts not normally available on regular production cars from the Bowtie brand. Nowadays, the COPO cars (as they’re known, in honor of GM’s Central Office Production Order system) can bring in huge bucks, as collectors strive to snap up the remaining cars built by Yenko and other notable dealerships.
Fast forward a few decades, and two dealerships, DeNooyer Chevrolet in Albany N.Y, and NeSmith Chevrolet, which has two location Georgia, are reviving this trend by using parts from GM’s Performance Parts catalog. NeSmith’s car puts down 700 horsepower from an LS9 V8 (the same type used in the Corvette ZR1) but will run you $125,000. The DeNooyer car uses a GM crate engine, known as the LSX454, that puts down 620 horsepower.
[Source: GM Inside News]