The modern-day COPO Camaro may be a drag racer confined to the strip, but the original car was quite a different story. The COPO name surfaced in 1969, when Chevy dealers, most notably Don Yenko, requested the company to offer a 427-equipped Camaro through its Central Office Production Orders (COPO) system. Chevrolet’s approval allowed Yenko to stop selling muscle cars with limited warranties because of his modifications and brought the infamous COPO Camaro to life. Chevy issued two different COPO models. One used a standard 7.0-liter rated at 425 ponies, which Don used to create the Yenko Camaro, while the second line came equipped with an all-aluminum 7.0-liter specifically designed for drag racing. The latter was launched as the ZL-1 and only 69 units saw production. The nameplate was revived in 2012, and since then Chevy has sold 69 drag-prepped Camaros with various engine options annually. As we venture into 2015, the fifth-generation Camaro receives its fourth and final COPO iteration.

Not much has changed on the 2015 COPO compared to last year’s version, but the NHRA-approved dragster is as hot as it gets. With only 69 examples to be offered to drag-racing enthusiasts, the 2015 COPO Camaro is set to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and become a rare and sought-after Camaro that will likely be a prized collectible in a few years. Launched at the 2014 SEMA Show, the 2015 COPO Camaro is ready to hit drag strips nationwide with a host of V-8 engines under its hood. Read on to find out more.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

  • 2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    TH400
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    350 @ 8000
  • Displacement:
    5.7 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    89000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro High Resolution Exterior
- image 575921
A set of all-new COPO graphics is the only novelty offered for the 2015 model year.

The COPO’s shell for the 2015 model year remains unchanged, which makes a lot of sense considering the production Camaro received no modifications whatsoever, save for a new exterior paint. A set of all-new COPO graphics is the only novelty offered for the 2015 model year, and the set consists of "COPO" lettering for the hood bulge and windshield, and Chevrolet Performance decals for the rear fenders. Although the SEMA Show car came to Las Vegas in a Abalone White racing "suit" with gray and orange accents, all customer vehicles will be delivered in one of the very few exterior colors available for the drag racer.

Every body panel remains unchanged for 2015, meaning enthusiasts get the same beefed-up exterior package. The near-production front and rear fascias are enhanced by a bulged hood, flared fenders, modified side skirts, a rear spoiler and a proper set of tires, including skinnies up front and drag radials on the rear.

Evolution in time

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro Exterior
- image 575940

Only one major exterior change is noticeable throughout the modern-day COPO’s lifetime. As expected, it occurred once the fifth-generation Camaro received its extensive facelift for the 2014 model year. The COPO borrowed all of the road-going pony’s changes, including the redesigned headlamps and taillights, as well as the revised front bumper. In addition to that, Chevrolet updated the COPO graphics each year.

Interior

Just like its predecessors, the 2015 COPO’s interior blends production and Chevrolet Performance Parts. The cabin layout remains similar to the road-going Camaro’s, but certain details are clear indications this is no regular Camaro. Additional gauges placed atop the dashboard provide all the crucial information needed at the drag strip, while a competition floor shifter replaces the standard unit.

Chevy also ditches the standard front seats for a pair of racing bucket seats, while the rear seats are discarded altogether as a weight-saving measure. To shave even more pounds, the company also removed most of the standard sound-deadening and power accessories. As far as safety goes, the 2015 COPO is equipped with a safety harness for the driver and an NHRA-spec full chrome-moly roll cage.

Drivetrain

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro High Resolution Exterior
- image 575920
Four different engines are available for the 2015 COPO, starting with the naturally aspirated, 350-cubic-inch V-8.

Four different engines are available for the 2015 COPO, starting with the naturally aspirated, 350-cubic-inch V-8. The 5.7-liter unit cranks out 350 horsepower and comes with an 8,000-rpm redline. Those in need of more power can go with the either the 6.5- or the 7.0-liter mill, which deliver 390 and 430 ponies, respectively. Lastly, Chevrolet also offers a supercharged version of the 350 V-8 that churns 530 horses with help from a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger.

The naturally aspirated units can be had with either an ATI Racing TH400 automatic or a four-speed, G-Force manual transmission. The supercharged engine, on the other hand, is confined to a modified TH400 autobox that comes with a heavy-duty steel forward clutch drum. These engines make the COPO eligible for NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes.

As with all COPOs, updates expand to the chassis, which includes racing suspension components, updated brakes, and, more importantly, a bespoke, solid rear axle in place of the stock independent rear axle.

Drivetrain/Specifications

Type 350 Naturally Aspirated 396 Naturally Aspirated 427 Naturally Aspirated 350 Supercharged
Output 350 HP 390 HP 430 HP 530 HP
Max Engine RPM 8,000 RPM 8,000 RPM 8,000 RPM 8,000 RPM
Transmission ATI Racing Products TH400 SFI-approved ATI “Super Case” Helical low gear ATI Racing Products TH400 SFI-approved ATI “Super Case” Helical low gear ATI Racing Products TH400 SFI-approved ATI “Super Case” Helical low gear ATI Racing Products TH400 SFI-approved ATI “Super Case” Helical low gear

Prices

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro High Resolution Exterior
- image 575925

Chevrolet has yet to announce pricing for the 2015 COPO Camaro, but it’s safe to assume the most affordable version will cost at least $95,000. But if you’re looking to start your drag-racing career with the 2015 COPO, you’d better hurry and place an order for one, as only 69 units of these drag racers will be built. Unfortunately, doing just that here won’t get you one, as according to Chevrolet "an independent third-party will randomly select purchasers from the pool of interested customers." Good luck!

Competition

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet

2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Exterior
- image 498622

The 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet based on the fifth-gen pony may no longer be available for purchase, but the mighty dragster remains the COPO Camaro’s nemesis. Motivated by a 5.0-liter, Coyote V-8 with a 2.9-liter supercharger strapped to it, the Cobra Jet is good for nearly 600 horsepower on top of going on a serious diet compared to the standard coupe. Limited to only 50 units in 2014, the Cobra Jet is even rarer than the COPO Camaro. Pricing was set at $97,990, with all 50 units being sold in a matter of months.

There’s no official word on a brand-new Cobra Jet for the 2015 model year, but we’d be really surprised is Ford Racing wouldn’t develop one for 2016. Of course, the Blue Oval would have to ditch the new independent suspension for a solid rear axle, along with many of the Mustang’s convenience and safety features.

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak

2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Test Vehicle by Mopar Exterior
- image 566523

Mopar is also working on a dragster of its own for the 2015 model year. Naturally, the vehicle of choice is the venerable Challenger. Based on the facelifted, 2015 Chally, the Drag Pak is more of a sleeper when compared to its competitors, but power should be up there in the 500-horsepower range. Dodge stuffed a 7.0-liter, HEMI V-8 crate engine under the Drag Pak’s hood, which mates to an automatic transmission with line-lock and an aluminum driveshaft.

Mopar has yet to reveal final output, but given the Mopar 426 HEMI crate engine cranks out 540 ponies, the Drag Pak should hit the strip with nearly 600 horsepower at its disposal. Around $100,000 should be enough to take one of these Challenger dragsters home if you don’t fancy a COPO Camaro or simply don’t want to wait for a new Mustang Cobra Jet.

Conclusion

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro Exterior
- image 575924

Granted, the COPO Camaro packs an enormous amount of Camaro heritage and an incredibly aggressive appearance. The 2015 model comes to bid fairwell to the fifth-gen Camaro, and while that might be a big deal to pony car enthusiasts, it’s not something its competitors should fear. You see, the COPO only won its first NHRA national event in 2014, a record that’s far from enticing, considering the nameplate was revived back in 2012. Sure, 2014 was the COPO’s best year yet and 2015 could bring more wins, but the Cobra Jet is still out there in the hands of privateers. Still, the 2015 COPO remains one of the best choices for NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock series and a good base for an even more powerful crate engine for those looking to race in upper tiers.

  • Leave it
    • * Limited production
    • * Pretty expensive
    • * Not exactly a winner
    • * Very few updates

Press Release

Chevrolet introduced the 2015 COPO Camaro today at the SEMA Show. It’s the fourth edition of the limited-production, factory-built race car – and the final version for the Gen 5 Camaro. As with the previous three model years, only 69 will be built.

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro Exterior
- image 575924

The new race cars will enter the 2015 racing season building on the momentum of COPO Camaro racer Bruno Massel’s historic win at last summer’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, in Indianapolis. It was the first NHRA national event victory for a fifth-generation COPO Camaro and topped a roster of seven additional class wins by drivers in COPO Camaros or COPO-powered race cars.

In all, about three dozen COPO Camaros and COPO-powered race cars vied for wins at the U.S. Nationals, making it the largest assembly of COPOs to date.

“The COPO Camaro allows sportsman racers to compete directly in NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Every win advances the COPO racing legacy established 45 years ago and reinforces Chevrolet’s position today as America’s leading performance car brand.”

The 2015 COPO Camaro on display this week at the SEMA Show features an Abalone White exterior with gray and orange accents and all-new COPO graphics – and is powered by a 350 “LSX” V-8 with a 2.9L Whipple supercharger.

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro High Resolution Exterior
- image 575925

Each COPO Camaro race car is built by hand starting with production hardware, including the same body in white used for production models.

The production race cars are fitted with an NHRA-approved roll cage and other safety equipment, along with racing chassis and suspension components – including a unique solid rear axle system in place of a regular-production Camaro’s independent rear axle.

Customers can select from a variety of supercharged and naturally aspirated LS-family engines based on their intended NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes, including 350, 396 and 427 naturally aspirated engines and a supercharged 350.

Racers interested in purchasing one of the 69 2015 COPO Camaro race cars must register at www.chevrolet.com/performance/copo-camaro. An independent third-party will randomly select purchasers from the pool of interested customers.

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro High Resolution Exterior
- image 575921

COPO crate engines and parts

Chevrolet Performance offers COPO crate racing engines and many of the specialty parts used in the production race cars, enabling racers to construct their own race cars using the proven, factory-engineered components of the genuine COPO Camaros. Six crate engines are offered:

COPO 427 naturally aspirated
COPO 396 naturally aspirated
COPO 350 supercharged (2.9L SC)
COPO 350 naturally aspirated
COPO 327 supercharged (4.0L SC)
COPO 327 supercharged (2.9L SC)

The range of additional COPO Camaro service parts includes everything from factory-engineered injector harnesses and alternator mounting kits to the body in white that Chevrolet uses to build the official COPO Camaro race cars.

Complete descriptions of the engines and parts are available in the all-new, 2015 Chevrolet Performance Parts catalog, which is available from Chevrolet dealers and can be downloaded online at www.chevrolet.com/performance.

Also available through the catalog is Chevrolet Performance’s “COPO Camaro Build Book” (part number 88958767), which provides an insider’s look at the assembly of the production race cars through hundreds of color photos. It also includes detailed specifications for NHRA classification and descriptions of the aftermarket parts and their manufacturers used for the production vehicles. Important start-up, warm-up and pre-/post-race procedures are also included as well as fluid and maintenance recommendations.

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 575922

Racing enthusiasts interested in more information on the COPO program can follow the latest COPO information at theblock.com – the online automotive community powered by Chevrolet Performance.

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