On the heels of the 2012 Camaro ZL1 launch Chevrolet has announced production of sixty-nine COPO Camaros – with deliveries to begin this summer – for the 2012 model year. As the brand’s first purpose-built Camaro specialty car, the COPO Camaro is designed to compete in the NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes. And given the competition in the category, the COPO Camaro should be the quickest (and arguably baddest!) Camaro offered by GM’s volume division.
“The COPO Camaro is going to shake up the sportsman drag racing ranks this summer and give Chevy fans a great new reason to cheer on the Bowtie,” observed Jim Campbell, GM’s U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles & Motorsports. Although it was developed strictly for the drag strip, Mr. Campbell added that the COPO Camaro is “infused with the same performance pedigree that every Camaro shares.”
As any graying reader of Hot Rod magazine knows, ‘COPO’ stands for Central Office Production Order, the special order system in place for high performance builds in the 1960s. The sixty-nine new Camaros planned for 2012 is a nod to the number of ZL-1 COPO Camaros built in 1969.
Using body-in-white body structures produced at the Oshawa, Ontario Camaro plant, customers can order their COPO Camaro at the local Chevrolet dealer, while delivery will take place at the G.M. Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan. Customers can choose one of three engines – naturally aspirated 427 or two supercharged 327 engines – and opt to assist in the assembly of their engine at the Performance Build Center. Regardless of your engine choice, that choice is paired with a drag-specific Powerglide automatic transmission.
Modifications to the Camaro platform include the addition of a solid rear axle and full chrome-moly roll cage. Inside, the interior is stripped of most sound deadening and power accessories, including – we’ll suppose – navigation. Also included in the standard COPO package are two racing buckets, a safety harness, competition floor shifter and Chevy Performance gauges. COPO Camaro pricing starts at $89,000.
Given the enthusiasm for the COPO concept at last year’s SEMA show, an independent third party has been used to identify those first individuals to be offered a purchase option by GM. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has reportedly ordered two COPO Camaros for his wife, Ann. Mrs. Romney, we’re told, loves domestic cars…