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The 2018 COPO Camaro Arrives with a New LT1-Based 302

The folks from Chevrolet Performance have taken the wraps off of the 2018 COPO Camaro drag racing package a few days early – revealing the newest race-ready muscle car ahead of its grand debut at next week’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

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Early last week, General Motors rolled out a teaser image of the 2018 Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro, promising a reveal date of October 30th. The 30th is the day before the 2017 SEMA Show opens in Las Vegas and with Chevrolet typically have a media event the night before SEMA start, it made sense that this newest COPO racer would make its public debut in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Surprisingly, Chevrolet Performance revealed the 2018 COPO Camaro a few days early at the Hot Wheels headquarters in El Segundo, California, so while the public introduction will happen at SEMA – we already have the vital details on the newest drag race-only Camaro.

“The introduction of a new COPO Camaro is always exciting and the new engine and Hot Wheels package expand choices for customers,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Chevrolet has supported Camaro drag racers for more than 50 years and the historic COPO Camaro program continues to offer them more ways to win.”

Meet the 2018 COPO Camaro
In most ways, the 2018 Chevrolet Performance COPO Camaro is the same as the 2016 version. These cars have been meticulously designed and engineered to deliver the best possible drag strip performance since they were introduced back in 2012, so it comes as no surprise that few things have changed from one model year to the next. The COPO Camaro has always been equipped with only the toughest components needed to get down the track as quickly as possible, and with no real complaints from owners – the parts that make the COPO Camaro so quick have proven to be perfectly reliable (as race car parts go).

The 2018 COPO Camaro still features a 3-speed ATI automatic transmission, a solid rear axle with track-ready internals, an adjustable racing suspension setup, a lightweight braking system, an extreme weight reduction program and the proper wheel/tire combination for quarter mile mastery.

That being said, there are a few changes, and I predicted both of them when we first talked about the pending arrival of the 2018 COPO Camaro. As expected, the 2018 COPO package gets a new LT1-based engine (although it is not a new supercharged application) along with a cool new Hot Wheels exterior theme – which was why the new car debuted at the Hot Wheels HQ.

2018 COPO Camaro Engines
The most powerful engine offering in the 2018 COPO Camaro is the same supercharged, LSX-based, 350 cubic inch V8 that was offered for the 2016 model year, which should easily propel this car well into the mid-8-second range. The second most powerful engine is also a returning engine, with the 427 cubic inch LSX returning for another model year, offering slightly less power than the supercharged 350.

The new engine for the 2018 COPO Camaro is an LT1-based, naturally aspirated 302 cubic inch mill, which is promised to be much higher revving than the 6.2L engine from the 2016 COPO car. Power levels will likely be the same, but power delivery of this new engine should be beneficial for drag racers.

Hot Wheels COPO Camaro
Finally, as has been the case in past years, the 2018 COPO Camaro comes with a unique livery – this time coming with the look of the new Hot Wheels Edition Camaro that we talked about yesterday. For the COPO car, the Hot Wheels edition is really just an exterior paint and stripe package, but there is no question that this race car looks awesome in the special “Supercrush” exterior paint.

Like past years, there will only be 69 examples of the 2018 COPO Camaro built and buying one begins with registering on the Chevrolet website. Registration closes on November 30th, at which point an independent 3rd party will select the 69 lucky people who will get to lay down somewhere in the area of $100,000 for the quickest Camaro to come from the factory.

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