The new 302 racing engine is based on the LT1 engine offered in the 2018 Camaro SS, but built for drag racing with unique components. Its displacement derives from a shorter-stroke crankshaft than the production engine, which enables exceptional high-rpm capability.
COPO Camaro customers can also select naturally aspirated 427 (7.0L) or supercharged 350 (5.7L) racing engines. The supercharged 350 enables mid-8-second quarter-mile times at nearly 160 mph. All COPO Camaro engines are backed by an SFI-approved ATI TH400 three-speed automatic transmission.
As with the previous editions, 2018 COPO Camaro models are designed for NHRA’s Stock Eliminator classes. They are fitted with racing chassis and suspension components, including a unique solid rear axle system in place of a regular-production Camaro’s independent rear axle.
Driving the COPO legacy
During the 2017 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals — NHRA’s largest event — more than 25 percent of the Stock Eliminator field was composed of COPO Camaro race cars, with many claiming class wins. Stephen Bell and Brett Candies won their respective Super Stock classes, while COPO Camaro competitors Jim Boburka, Victor Cagnazzi, Jeff Taylor and Daren Poole-Adams won their respective Stock Eliminator classes.
Additionally, David Barton won the Factory Showdown at the U.S. Nationals and went on to win the 2017 championship, after the final showdown race in St. Louis.
Enthusiasts can follow updates on the 2018 COPO Camaro program at TheBlock.com.
FAST FACT: Illinois dealer Fred Gibb initiated the ZL-1 COPO Camaro program in 1969. He ordered 50 cars with the all-aluminum ZL-1 engine and other dealers followed suit, bringing the production total to 69. Chevrolet has honored those original, special-order models by building only 69 COPO Camaro race cars each year since the program restarted in 2012.