Designed to highlight the capability of the new Camaro as a weekend bracket warrior, the Camaro LS7 Concept combines the power of a GM Performance Parts’ LS7 crate engine and targeted bolt-on upgrades to deliver the wheels-up spirit of the legendary COPO Camaros.
Made famous by Chevy dealers like Don Yenko and Fred Gibb in the late 1960s, the COPO cars were ordered for one thing: drag racing. They were quickly outfitted after delivery with the requisite tires, safety equipment and other accessories necessary for competition in popular Stock-class drag racing series.
The LS7 Concept honors the COPO ethos with features such as drag strip-ready rubber on the rear wheels – and unlike many of the stripped-down racers from 40 years ago, this strip-ready competitor serves double duty as both a racecar and a daily driver.
The LS7 crate engine (part number 17802397) uses a high-performance replacement camshaft from GM Performance Parts (part number 12480033) to help it produce approximately 550 horsepower. Complementing upgrades include GM Performance Parts-developed headers and air intake system that will be offered at the Camaro’s launch in early 2009. The LS7 also is modified with a wet-sump oiling system; the production engine features a dry-sump system that requires an external oil tank.
Backing the LS7 engine is a production Tremec 6060 six- speed manual with a GM Performance Parts Hurst shifter. Additional drivetrain details include:
- Brembo four-wheel disc brake package
- Lowered ride height
- Custom 20-inch wheels
- Driveshaft safety loop
- GM Performance Parts exhaust system
The Camaro LS7 concept is painted Victory Red, with matte black accents on the hood and taillamp panel. “LS7” logos are strategically placed and warn those in the know this Camaro means business when the Christmas tree lights count down to green. It’s all business on the spartan interior, too, with base trim and few accessories to minimize overall mass for a quicker elapsed time.
Although the Camaro LS7 Concept is just that – a concept – its duplication by enterprising enthusiasts and racers is enabled by GM Performance Parts’ LS7 crate engine package. It delivers a fully assembled, production version of the engine, complete from the intake manifold to oil pan. An oil reservoir for the standard dry sump system and GM Performance Parts’ LS7 engine controller (part number 19166567) are all that’s necessary to get the engine running in an enthusiast’s project vehicle – well, that and a chassis capable of handling more than 500 lb.-ft. of torque!