Chevy Ride & Drive

Chevy Ride & Drive
Camaro COPO Released

Photography by Chris Cruz

At this year’s SEMA event, Chevy invited a small group of us to their press release ride & drive. We had the opportunity to test drive the new 2012 models on a closed cone course and we were also given a 1st hand look at what’s to come from Chevy in 2012.


We were lucky enough to be asked to park our Flat6 Motorworks X State of Stance Chevy Sonic at the event. I just wish we would have been able to get it on the cone course, it would have really let up test out the Federal tire and Ground Control suspension combo.


Some of the other Sonics on display included a full SCCA spec Super Sonic 4 and the Ricky Carmichael X FOX Sonic.



Along with some of the other Sonics, was the new:
Ron Fellows Corvette


Inducted into the National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame this year, Ron Fellows’ distinguished racing career behind the wheel of both C5R and C6R Corvettes is celebrated in the Corvette Z06 Ron Fellows ‘Hall of Fame’ Tribute.

Vehicle highlights:

  • Z06 Performance Package (Z07)
  • Magnetic Selective Ride Control
  • CFZ carbon fiber package with splitter and rocker moldings
  • Carbon fiber raised hood
  • Black headlamp housings and mirrors
  • Red brake calipers
  • Ebony interior with red stitching
  • Suede-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob, parking brake handle and armrests with red stitching (from the 2012 Centennial package)
  • Centennial-model seats
  • Genuine Corvette Accessory Racing Pedal Package
  • Racing-style graphics that honor racing wins, National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame, Spring Mountain Driving School and Mosport.

And then… From a closed wooden container rolled out the long anticipated return of the:
COPO Camaro


Under the hood sits a 327 CI engine based on the LSX block topped by a 2.9L Whipple supercharger, with the provision for a LS7-based 427 naturally aspirated powerplant as well. The concept channels power through a Powerglide racing automatic, but Chevy envisions three-speed autos and a five-speed stick configuration for those looking for other transmission options. Out back, a solid 9-inch Ford-type axle replaces the production Camaro’s IRS, turning 9×30 Hoosier radial drag tires.

Per Jim Campbell, GM US vice president of Performance Vehicles and motorsports, “The COPO Camaro is a proof of concept for what a Chevrolet Stock Eliminator entry could look like.” While it’s currently just a concept, Campbell adds, “It is a clear indication that Chevrolet intends to homologate the Camaro for sportsman drag racing.”

Vehicle Highlights:

  • Provisions for two engine configurations
  • Provisions for a Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission, a three-speed automatic or a five-speed manual
  • High-rise cowl-induction hood
  • Custom Aeromotive fuel system, with a fuel cell and integral high-pressure fuel pump
  • Full, chrome moly roll cage
  • Coil-over front suspension with Strange Engineering adjustable struts
  • Custom rear suspension, based on NHRA requirements, with Strange Engineering shocks, Panhard bar and stabilizer bar
  • Strange Engineering S-9 solid rear axle with aluminum third member, 35-spline spool, 35-spline axles and 4.10 gear set
  • Lightweight, COPO-specific racing wheels
  • 29×9-inch rear radial racing slicks and 4.5x28x15-inch front tires
  • Manual steering system
  • Strange Engineering lightweight racing brakes system with standard line lock.
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