Chevrolet launches a drag-racer with its biggest-ever V8

Chevrolet’s US special-order division has equipped the Camaro muscle car with its biggest-ever engine – a 10.4-litre V8 with almost 750kW.

2022 Chevrolet COPO Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro’s production run is expected to end within the next two years, but that hasn’t stopped the company from fitting its iconic muscle car with the biggest engine ever produced in the US.

Dubbed the ‘COPO’ Camaro – for Chevrolet’s special-order ‘Central Office Production Order’ department – the two-door coupe’s party piece is its 10.4-litre V8 engine, revealed in October last year.

Its 10.4-litre displacement is larger than two of the Ford Mustang GT’s 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8s combined, and it eclipses the Dodge Viper’s 8.3-litre V10 as the biggest-capacity US-made engine.

Chevrolet claims its ‘ZZ632’ engine develops 746kW (or 1004hp in US measurements) and 1188Nm – more than double the outputs of the last Holden Commodore SS, which was powered by a 304kW/570Nm 6.2-litre V8 engine. 

However, unlike the Commodore and Mustang, the Chevrolet COPO Camaro is not able to be road-registered – instead its sole focus is on completing a 400-metre drag race as fast as possible.

Drag racing in the US is going through a resurgence, with Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge all offering factory-backed cars and parts which can race in the NHRA’s Factory Stock Showdown class.

The Chevrolet COPO Camaro is also available with a naturally-aspirated 7.0-litre V8 or a supercharged 5.7-litre V8 engine, which allows it to compete against the Ford Mustang ‘Cobra Jet’ and Dodge ‘Drag Pack’ Challenger.

In the US, Chevrolet requires customers to place a $US15,000 ($AU22,500) deposit to secure a build slot for the COPO Camaro, although this does not change depending on engine size.

Chevrolet does not list a price for the 10.4-litre V8-powered Camaro, however US publication The Drive estimates it costs more than $US100,000 ($AU150,000) as a going concern.

Chevrolet’s 2022 COPO Camaro was powered by a 9.4-litre V8, with the 2023 model growing by another litre

For those who want only the V8 engine, General Motors’ performance arm sells it as a ‘crate motor’, which includes the necessary engine control unit (ECU) and fuel injection system for $US35,000 ($AU52,500).

Unfortunately for Camaro fans in Australia, the CAPO package is exclusive to the US, and Chevrolet has no plans to re-introduce the muscle car in local showrooms.

Between September 2018 and April 2020, the Chevrolet Camaro was sold in Australia, having been remanufactured to right-hand-drive by Holden Special Vehicles, culminating in more than 1550 examples hitting local roads.

As previously reported, production of the Chevrolet Camaro is expected to end in 2024, with the muscle car due to be replaced by a new “electric performance sedan” in 2025.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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