Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary and 2018 COPO Camaro’s Revealed
Chevrolet is a company steeped in traditions, and has continued two of them with the announcement of the limited-to-69 2018 COPO Camaro and 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition.
The COPO Camaro’s history begins with Illinois dealer Fred Gibb when he ordered 50 Camaro’s with the all-aluminum ZL-1 engine using the COPO dealer-ordering system. Soon, a few other dealers followed suit, and ordered a further 19 more before Chevrolet put the brakes on the program. As such 1969 saw the creation of the ultimate racing factory Camaro, which Chevrolet has honored by building only 69 COPO Camaro race cars each year since the program re-started in 2012.
This years COPO Camaro follows previous COPO editions by being built for NHRA’s Stock Eliminator classes, which includes all of the necessary safety kit as well as a unique solid rear axle system in place of a regular-production Camaro’s independent rear axle. Power is sent to this axle via an SFI-approved ATI TH400 three-speed automatic transmission connected to one of three engines: a new-for-2018 302 (5.0L) racing engine, a naturally aspirated 427 (7.0L) or supercharged 350 (5.7L) racing engine.
The two latter engines are carryovers from the previous COPO generations, and the supercharged V8 can power the car to a mid-8-second quarter-mile times at nearly 160 mph. The new 302 is based on the production LT1 with a shorter-stroke crankshaft than the production engine that enables exceptional high-rpm capability.
The COPO Camaro is also being offered for the first time with the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition package detailed below, creating an even rarer COPO for future collectors.
The Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is a non-limited edition release of the Camaro celebrating the half-century relationship between the two companies. The Custom Camaro was the first Hot Wheels vehicle released in 1968 and was part of the original 16 ever released, an honor Chevrolet has not ignored.
The 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is available on 2LT and 2SS coupe and convertible models and is solely a collectable/appearance package. The car is painted in a Crush exterior color and stripes that replicate the toys’ famous orange tracks, and comes with the following unique options:
- Satin Graphite stripes with Silver Ice Metallic accents
- Satin Graphite ground effects
- 20-inch forged aluminum wheels (with summer-only tires on SS) in Satin Graphite with milled faces and unique center caps
- 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels fender badges
- Unique grille with Galvano Chrome inserts
- Orange brake calipers
- Dark taillamps
- Black taillamp panel with the Hot Wheels emblem
- Black Chevrolet bowtie emblems
- Jet Black leather-appointed interior with exclusive orange inserts and orange accent stitching
- Orange kneepads on the doors and orange safety belts
- Embossed front-seat headrests
- 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badge on the steering wheel
- Illuminated doorsill plates with 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badges
- Premium carpeted floor mats with orange stitching and “ghost” stripes
This is available for the not-insignificant sum of $4,995, and goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018.
BMW Reveals X2 Crossover, Grows ‘X’ Family of Utility Vehicles
BMW has announced the release of their X2 crossover, based on the X1 numerically below it, following their tradition of releasing an SUV–or a CUV in this case–and then building a ‘coupe’ version of it, one numerical digit higher, à la the X4 and X6.
In the vein of this tradition, the X2 shares the powertrain and xDrive options available on the X1, while shaving the form to make a more attractive shape. In this case the car is 3.2 inches shorter and 2.8 inches lower than the BMW X1, yet has the same wheelbase, allowing short overhangs, to create a stretched, coupe-style roofline.
Whether this will be enough to distinguish the CUV from its slow-selling X1 sibling, will remain to be seen.
Tokyo Auto Show Brings the Concepts: Favorite and Least Favorite
The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show is currently underway, and as expected, the Japanese automakers have brought their newest concept cars to the show. Below, are my least favorite and most favorite:
Favorite: Mazda Kai Concept
Picking my favorite concept car was an easy choice once I saw Mazda’s Kai Concept car, previewing the next-generation Mazda 3 hatchback. As someone who loves hatchbacks, I was immediately smitten with the aggressive looks and low-and-wide stance.
Mazda equipped their Kai concept with the next-generation SKYACTIV-X compression-ignition gasoline engine, SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture and a more mature expression of the KODO design language.
As the KODO design language has been with us for nearly two decades now, I have to say that it is maturing nicely.
Least Favorite: MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT
Just as picking my favorite was easy, picking my least favorite was just as simple. We have suspected that the next Evolution car Mitsubishi produced would not be the STi-baiting rally monster we wanted, and instead be a hybrid-EV crossover. With the reveal of the irritatingly-capitalized MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT, this has been confirmed.
This confirmation, and the disappointment that comes with it, easily snags the loudly-typed MITSUBISHI e-EVOLUTION CONCEPT my least favorite concept pick.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.