The 2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro is no longer a concept. Chevrolet has announced that they will be building 69 COPO Camaros this year; the exact number of “ZL-1” COPO Camaros made in 1969. COPO, or Central Office Production Order, was Chevy’s high performance special-order system used in the 1960s by dealers to build high performance models. The new COPO Camaro will be a not-street-legal drag car with the sole purpose of competing in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. This will put the new COPO Camaro in direct competition with the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet and the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak; this should be interesting.
For too long, Chevy has sat on the sidelines watching as Dodge and Ford , especially Ford, dominated in Stock Eliminator and Super Stock. The Cobra Jet and the Drag Pak have been proven winners in these NHRA classes for years. Bowtie fans have long wondered if Chevy would ever have an answer to the bad-ass factory-built race cars of its Detroit neighbors. That answer is finally coming. The Cobra Jet and the Drag Pak are no pushovers, though, so the new COPO Camaro will definitely have its work cut out.
The COPO Camaro’s biggest threat, the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet started at $91,900 in 2012 and boasts a supercharged 5.4L V8 under the hood, while the $39,999 2010 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak sports a 6.1L Hemi. For 2011, though, the Mopar Challenger Drag Pak upgraded drastically to a naturally aspirated 512ci V10 and upped the pricetag to $85,512. The 2012 COPO Camaro, starting at $89,000, has three engine options to choose from: a naturally aspirated 427ci V8, a 327ci V8 with a 2.9L supercharger, and a 327ci V8 with a 4.0L supercharger. All of the Big Three’s race cars are stripped-out versions of their former selves and are built to run in the NHRA. They are all sold race-ready and come complete with everything from roll cages to fuel cells in the trunk.
The 2012 COPO Camaro should be delivered to anxious customers sometime in the Summer of 2012, and, by the middle of the NHRA racing season, 69 lucky people should be taking on the Cobra Jet and the Drag Pak head to head. The new COPO Camaro will be the quickest Camaro Chevy has ever produced. This race car will re-ignite the legendary racing rivalry between Chevy, Ford, and Dodge that gearheads have followed for decades. Drivers, start your engines!
Hit the jump for a full list of COPO Camaro features.
gallery: Chevrolet COPO Camaro Concept
Highlights of the new COPO Camaro program include:
- A sequenced build number matched to the engine but sold without a Vehicle Identification Number and cannot be registered for highway use
- Three racing-class engine are available, including a naturally aspirated 427 (7.0L) and two supercharged 327 (5.3L) V-8 engines
- Engine assembly at GM’s Performance Build Center, where the buyer can opt to participate in the engine assembly similar to Chevrolet’s Corvette Engine Build Experience and the Chevrolet Performance Build Your Own Crate Engine programs
- Engines pairing with a Powerglide automatic transmission designed for drag racing
- Five colors: Flat Black, Summit White, Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic and Ashen Gray Metallic
- A COPO graphics package similar to the one introduced on the concept vehicle available in Metallic White, Semi-Gloss Black, Inferno Orange Metallic and Chevy Racing Blue
- Pricing starting at $89,000
- A special collector’s package offering the purchase of all three engines with the COPO Camaro – including one installed in the car at delivery – with each engine serial number matched to the car