•  COPO Camaro starts at $86,000
  •  Three engines offered, up to 425 hp
  •  Production limited to 69 units

The 2013 Chevrolet COPO Camaro will be priced from $86,000 when it goes on sale later this year. That's the latest from Chevrolet, who recently announced the return of the drag-tuned COPO Camaro after a low-volume production run for 2012.

While that may sound like big money for a Camaro, the COPO trim level is no ordinary Camaro. Instead, it's built to compete at NHRA drag racing events. That means in addition to spartan interior fittings with no rear seats, the COPO Camaro boasts a solid rear axle and an NHRA-mandated roll cage. It also boasts huge rear tires to improve traction off the line.

Of course, the COPO Camaro also packs a major punch under the hood. According to Chevrolet, three engines are available. The least-powerful model uses a 325-horsepower 5.3-liter V8. One level above, the mid-level COPO Camaro offers a 375-horsepower 6.5-liter V8. Topping the range is a wild 7.0-liter V8 that produces a muscular 425 horses.

That's a bit different from the 2012 COPO Camaro, which offered the 7.0-liter V8 and two supercharged 5.3-liter mills. Another difference is the transmission: while last year's model only offered a race-ready "Powerglide" automatic, the latest COPO Camaro boasts an available four-speed manual.

According to Chevrolet, just 69 units of the 2013 COPO Camaro will be built. That pays tribute to the original COPO Camaro, then a 1969 model whose name stood for "Central Office Production Order." Like today, the '69 COPO Camaro was the wildest of them all, boasting up to 435 horsepower and an available four-speed transmission.

Due to its low production volume, the COPO Camaro will be difficult for buyers to find. Chevrolet will use a lottery system to pick 69 lucky shoppers. They can then elect to purchase the Camaro, choosing an engine, a transmission, and one of the coupe's five available colors.

Once all is done and the $86,000-plus price tag is paid, buyers can take delivery with one caveat: the COPO Camaro isn't street-legal and can't be registered. That will restrict its use to a high-performance toy for wealthy drag racing fans.

What it means to you: The limited-production 2013 Chevrolet COPO Camaro will be one of the fastest factory-built cars on any drag strip.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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