I will never forget the moment when the fourth-generation Camaro SS pulled up to my 2000 Mustang GT. Late evening. Empty roads. The roar of engines. Adrenaline rush. Lit green. The Camaro pulled away, and I, who had just graduated from college as a youth, remained to swallow smoke from under his wheels.
Since the birth of the Chevrolet Camaro, which occurred in 1966, the confrontation between it and the Ford Mustang has continued. For example, only we pushed their heads together more than 20 times. Calling this standoff long is an understatement. Mustang and Camaro are two legendary foes. It’s like Celtics vs. Lakers in basketball or Rangers vs. Devils in hockey. Ford and Chevy did not miss the chance to add fuel to the fire, making every next car even more powerful and fast. Last year, the fifth-generation Camaro SS 1LE fairly upset the new Mustang GT Performance Package in our comparative test. Camaro subjectively and objectively impressed us with its dynamics. Now that the new Camaro has appeared on the horizon, Ford must try to defend its honor.
The differences between our Mustang GT Performance Package 2016 and the 2015 model, which we tested before, are minimal, even the paint is the same – the Triple Yellow Tri-Coat. Mustang S550 – one of the most powerful cars in the world. Under its long sleek hood, a wild five-liter V8 with 435 hp and 542 Nm of torque. Power enters the six-speed manual gearbox and is then transmitted to the rear axle. Classics of the genre. But this is not the whole arsenal, adopted by the Mustang. The Performance Package adds the Brembo six-piston front brakes, a Torsen limited friction differential with a ratio of 3.73: 1, stiffer front springs and 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero tires.
Chevy changes more palpable. Much more compact than before, the Alpha platform, borrowed from Cadillac ATS, is a rigid “diet”, and now the sixth generation Camaro is the lightest member of the segment (1666 kg), while the Mustang pulls out by 1735 kg. The weight advantage of the Camaro is complemented by solid power, its 6.2-liter V8 LT1 develops 455 hp. and 617 Nm of torque. Like the Mustang, power goes to the rear axle through a six-speed manual gearbox and tenacious Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 tires complete the chain.
“Late evening. Empty roads. The roar of engines. Adrenaline rush. Lit green. The Camaro pulled away, and I was left to swallow smoke from under its wheels. ”
If I went back in time with a new Mustang for that race with a Camaro, I could have achieved much more. True to its drag-racing roots, the modern Ford makes it extremely easy and quick to start. Forget about controlling the start, it will only slow you down, just spin the engine up to 3000 rpm, release the clutch and engage the gear. Up to 60 m / h (96 km / h) it will accelerate in 4.6 seconds, just in second gear, and the quarter will fly in 12.9 seconds, finishing at 177 km / h. Despite the fact that, from the point of view of my Mustang GT 2000, this dynamic looks phenomenal, it will be difficult for him to compete with the ratio of weight to power of the new Chevrolet. The easiest way to get Chevy as fast as possible from a spot to “hundred” is to start at high revs, and he will do it in a phenomenal four seconds (0.4 seconds faster,
Only in past generations, the Mustang and Camaro finally pleased us with more or less intelligible handling, which has not disappeared anywhere. Camaro is faster, it passes the “eight” in 24.1 seconds with an average lateral acceleration of 0.85g. Even a child can handle this task now. The Camaro is light and precise, large brakes let you slow down much later, and a wide torque shelf and long gearbox allow you to perform this maneuver at second speed. The stabilization and traction control system works unnoticed, so there is no need to turn it off. However, if you do not turn it off, you risk missing the very essence of the pony car. The Camaro is a superbly compliant drift machine without unnecessary guardianship from the electronic nannies, all adjustments to the wagging backside are made by lightly pressing the accelerator pedal.
Mustang is not so agile, and making it work is a more difficult task. Ford passes the “eight” in 24.4 seconds with an average lateral acceleration of 0.82g, but it is extremely difficult to ignore the fact that it has a lot in common with its predecessor. “It feels like an old Mustang,” Kim Reynolds, our test drive guru, shares his impression. – It seems heavy. The body responds nervously to the potholes and heels noticeably. ” In other words, the car is swinging heavily. And you will have to switch speeds very often, going to the third one before the turn, in order to return to the second one. Do not think, we love to choose the right gear, but to do it so often, sitting behind the wheel of a Ford … annoying. The gearbox is nervous and with a narrow range, it does not like being customized. As for the slow cornering, let’s say with smoke from under the wheels and pulling down the stern, the Mustang will do it, but returning it to the path will be very, very difficult. You walk on the edge of the blade, and if you make the slightest mistake, the machine will immediately deploy.
Meanwhile, the Mustang itself cannot be said to be as sharp as a blade. The badge on the trunk lid claims that this is the GT (Gran Turismo), and he really succeeded in that. It all starts with the cabin. “Morey Callum’s signature style is felt here, and this time his team worked hard,” Ed Lo said. – Soft-touch front and door panels with contrasting lines in body color – elegant design touches. ” We also appreciated the Recaro optional buckets: they are comfortable, with excellent support, helping the driver to rise a little above the road. On the highway Mustang moves relaxed and imposing. Muttering quietly for 2000 rpm in sixth gear (120 km / h), he seems to bypass any slow traffic without changing gear. The wheel keeps the right direction, road noise at an acceptable level, and in general the car goes very smoothly.
It is extremely difficult to oppose anything Chevy with its mass-to-power ratio.
Impressiveness disappears without a trace as soon as you start to push the Mustang into a turn. Fast driving on narrow secondary routes makes the driver work hard. The rolls, nods, demolitions and jumps that we felt during the passage of the G-8, only intensified on the imperfect road surface of ordinary roads, and despite the generally informative steering, it is sometimes not enough. In fact, not everything is so bad: for example, the engine sounds great at high revs. Short gear pairs give a feeling of speed and ensure that you catch all the shades of the voice of this V8.
Camaro, remaining faithful to the Super Sport badge proudly painted on its stern, is better suited for driving on secondary roads than Ford. Camaro loves aggression and speed, and he is equally good both on straight lines and in turns. The information content of the compact steering wheel with a sloping bottom is exceptional, and the gearbox is so responsive that it seems as if you have the machine from the newest Corvette without a seventh gear. The Camaro SS is what the Cadillac ATS-V should have been. Lo really liked the Chevy serpentine engine. “The speed of the Camaro is exactly what I like. He is more willing to spin up to the desired speed, which evokes thoughts about racing cars. Camaro accelerates to almost 130 km / h in second gear, and the engine roars against the cut-off. Mustang for this need additional transmission that, according to Sebo,
At a speed of 120 km / h at 2000 rpm, the Mustang is imposing and relaxed.
On the Chevy highway seems a little tougher. The noise from oncoming airflow and tires can be heard more clearly, and the suspension is definitely more uncompromising. Visibility, the main reason for complaints about the Camaro, still causes some difficulties. In Ford, the driver sits high, while in the Camaro you sit very low, and the high dashboard partially covers you. “Compared to its predecessors, it has become better, but against the background of progress, Ford is still sad,” notes Lo. “But this is exactly what gives SS that unique hooliganism, for the sake of which we, in fact, buy ponies”.
If you do not take into account the visibility, then the interior of the new Camaro is a huge step forward when compared to the previous generation. Despite the fact that it is not as rich as the interior of the Mustang, those elements to which you touch most often, namely the steering wheel and gear lever, are very, very pleasant. The simplified front panel also helps create a sense of restraint and quality in the Camaro. I liked the high-resolution display in a stylish frame, well located and easy to use (based on the Apple CarPlay system). Luo was delighted with the ventilation holes: “They not only look like jet engines: the rims of corrugated metal framing them allow you to adjust the temperature of the air produced and the speed of rotation of the fans. Unobtrusive and intuitive. ”
But it was not easy to choose a winner from this pair. “They are so similar in terms of ergonomics, visibility and sound of the motor that any of the parameters can bring one of them into the lead,” notes Lo. – But when it comes to the dynamics at the limit of possibilities, the Camaro is rushing ahead. All in accordance with their badges: SS – for a dynamic Camaro in the style of Supersport, and GT for the imposing Mustang. ”
Ford Mustang GT – high class, real American in a classic suit. Yes, he will cope with sharp turns if necessary, but he is much more comfortable on the straight lines between intersections and on highways. And you will like it in such conditions.
We want a car with the soul of a pony car, one that can provide an adrenaline rush.
The Camaro SS is the 2004 Red Sox team: beards, muscles, and pure testosterone. Want to effectively leave the next traffic light on your sports sedan! Want to pick it up at a crossroads! Do you want passersby to turn around after you! Then your choice is the Camaro SS.
As for us, Ed Lo summarized best of all. “If we talk about a more spectacular version that would make an indelible impression on my friends, then this is definitely a Camaro. He is faster, sharper and more difficult, a kind of self-confident ass. Mustang growls. Camaro roars.
We are looking for a car that would fully embody the spirit of a pony car. We are looking for a car that would drive faster, reluctantly turned, roared like mad and at the same time looked menacing. We want a Chevrolet Camaro, which causes a surge of adrenaline and leaves all rivals far behind in the race with a traffic light. Well, if it so happens that on the open highway it turns out to be good, then we need just such a car, it’s a sweet cherry on a ceremonial cake.
1 place: Chevrolet Camaro SS
The gorgeous dynamics on the drag strip and in the corners gives it the title of the oil car of a dream.
2 place: Ford Mustang GT Performance Package
That we would choose it for a leisurely trip to the United States.
Dmitry Petrov is an engineer who specializes in materials science, and has a deep passion for all things related to automotive technology. He is a true motorhead at heart, and spends much of his free time tinkering with engines and studying vehicular dynamics.