Mustang vs. Camaro

This is the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 engine.

This is the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 engine. It’s a 5.8-liter V8 engine. It produces 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. Compared with the last version, this engine features a new supercharger, new cross-drilled block and heads, and updated camshaft profiles. There are also a new carbon fiber driveshaft, and upgraded clutch, six-speed manual transmission, and axle.

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This is the aluminum block, supercharged engine put together. According to Ford, the new Shelby GT500 engine is “the most powerful production V8 in the world.”

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This is the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 doing what the car is engineered to do.

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Said Jamal Hameedi, Ford SVT chief engineer, “It might just seem like we’re putting a bigger engine into the car. But it’s been a balanced approach through and through. We’ve completely redone the car to be even more sophisticated in terms of handling and control than the prior model.”

For example, the front fascia and splitters are modified so as to handle the loads of driving at 200 mph. There is 33% more-effective aero loading at 160 mph than is the case with the 2011 model.

And the day that Ford revealed the Shelby GT500, the guys across town at Chevy think it is useful to remind people of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe.

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It features a supercharged 6.2-liter engine that is rated at 580 hp and 556 lb-ft of torque. It has a 0 to 60 mph time—from a rolling start and when equipped with a six-speed automatic—of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 184 mph.

“And horsepower is only half the story,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, “as the most significant measurement of the ZL1’s potential is lapping the Nurburgring in 7:41.27. That is a great testament to the power, braking, grip, and balance of the Camaro ZL1, and to the well-rounded performance of the ZL1 that sets the bar for the sports-car segment.”

It is interesting to note that Jost Capito, director of Ford Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsport business Development said “SVT keeps the Shelby GT500 on the cutting edge of technology and takes muscle car performance to new heights” [emphasis added] while Oppenheiser referred to the “sports-car segment.”

What’s more, Chevy makes comparisons to the Audi R8 GT, Maserati Gran Turismo, and Mercedes SLS AMG with the Camaro ZL1, as the car (1) has higher horsepower and torque figures than any of them and (2) costs less than half the next least expensive (the Maserati at $122,800 vs. the Camaro’s $59,995 base price).

Ah, the horsepower wars in Detroit continues unabated.