Chevrolet unveiled a monster of a crate engine at the 2021 SEMA show in Las Vegas with the ZZ632/1000 1,004-horsepower, 10.4-liter V-8 engine. Back then, Chevy even called it the “biggest, worst crate engine” it ever built.
This week, the automaker announced the first details and the start of orders for its 2023 COPO Camaro, and one of the options for the drag special is the new crate engine. Other options for 2023 include a 7.0-liter 470-horsepower V8 and a supercharged 5.7-liter 580-horsepower V8.
The engines are designed to meet the requirements of the NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes for which the latest COPO Camaro are destined.
The only transmission is an ATI Racing Products 3-speed automatic and features a Hurst shifter. All COPO versions also come with fuel injection and a Strange Engineering rear differential with 40 spline axles. Other features include an aluminum torque tube and carbon fiber hood.
2023 Chevrolet COPO Camaro
Like previous models, the 2023 COPO Camaro will be sold without a title or VIN. Orders require a $15,000 deposit, Chevy confirmed.
Chevy hasn’t said how many build slots will be available, but the automaker has traditionally offered 69 units per year. The number matches the original 1969 COPO Camaros built with the aluminum 427 ZL1 engine. This engine weighed about 100 pounds less than the iron-based 396-cubic-inch big-block offered in the Camaro and produced more power to boot, making it a popular option for the drag strip.
The workaround to getting the ZL1 engine into a drag car was originally developed by Illinois-based dealer Fred Gibb, who used Chevy’s in-house special ordering system known as the Central Office Production Order (COPO), hence the Name COPO. Typically the COPO system was used for fleet vehicle services such as custom paint or truck fitment, but Gibb used it to outfit the Camaro with the ZL1 427 engine.
More details on the 2023 COPO Camaro, including pricing information, will be announced at a later date.