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Old 07-06-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
Tea cups
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Default 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 vs 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...son/index.html


Who's King of the Modern Ponycar Hill?

PHOTO GALLERY

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"Not fair!" howled a bunch of Ford fans when we pitted the 2010 Mustang GT against Chevy's new Camaro, and it lost. "What about the Shelby GT500? You should be comparing the top-of-the-range Camaro with the top-of-the-range Mustang."

Hey, it's not our fault Ford brought a knife to a gunfight. The simple truth is you can buy a 426-horsepower Camaro for the same money as a 315-horsepower Mustang. In fact, order a GT Premium with the TrackPack -- the only way to get the GT500-inspired suspension upgrades, 3.73 rear axle, dual-piston front calipers, recalibrated stability control system, plus the 19-inch wheels and tires that make the 2010 Mustang such a blast through the twisties -- and you'll pay about 1500 bucks more than you would for a 1SS-spec Camaro, which comes standard with Pirelli tires, Brembo brakes, a six speed manual transmission, and a 21st-century rear suspension.

Look at the price, look at the market positioning: The Mustang GT's logical rival is the faster, more powerful, more refined Camaro SS. End of argument.

But the Ford faithful got us thinking: With the 556-horse supercharged Z/28 on indefinite hold, the SS is the toughest factory Camaro you can buy. Is it good enough to take on the new 540-horse 2010 Shelby GT500? Or does Ford now own the high ground in a ponycar war that has ebbed and flowed between these two automakers for more than 40 years now? We decided to find out.

First, we corralled a 2SS Camaro manual with the optional RS package (the giveaway is the red SS badging). It's mechanically identical to the $30,995 1SS we tested earlier, but a bunch of appearance and luxury extras, including a sunroof, boost the price tag to $37,250. We've covered the new GT500 in detail already. Base price is $48,175, but our tester came equipped with Ford's Electronics Package -- essentially nav and dual-zone air-conditioning -- plus HID headlights, pushing the sticker to $50,985.

You want bang-for-buck barroom bragging rights? The Camaro SS nails it. There isn't a car on the planet that delivers as much sheer grunt for the money. It easily outpoints the GT500 -- you'll spend 55 percent more to buy the Shelby, and only get 27 percent more mumbo. But this isn't about bar talk. Let's head out to the track.

The Camaro is a porky car, a legacy of its Australian-developed Zeta platform, which was deliberately over-engineered to ensure the Holden Commodore gained five-star ratings in the Australian NCAP crash tests. At 3888 pounds, it has a weight to power ratio of 9.12 pounds/horsepower. The GT500 is no lightweight, either -- at 3903 pounds, it weighs a surprising 331 pounds more than a regular Mustang GT. But those 540 horses under the hood help compensate, delivering a weight to power ratio of 7.22 pounds/horsepower.

No surprise, then, that the GT500 is quicker over the quarter mile, nailing the distance in 12.8 seconds. What is a surprise is the Ford's winning margin, as the Camaro is a mere tenth of a second slower, despite its 114-horsepower handicap. In fact, the big Chevy is actually quicker off the line than the GT500 and only starts to get reeled in by the more powerful supercharged Shelby mid-track. The trap speeds -- 115.3 mph versus 110.7 mph -- show the Ford's power advantage at work at the top end.

The Ford's big problem is traction. The rock-hard Goodyear Eagle F1 tires grip about as well as a pair of bowling balls, and you have to feather the gas otherwise the GT500 will be left standing in a cloud of tire smoke as the Camaro simply digs in and grunts away. If you're not careful, the GT500's live rear axle hops and bangs and thumps, spitting the car sideways as the tires struggle for grip.

It's a core element of modern Mustang mythology that the GT500's S197 platform has a live rear axle because it delivers better traction on the drag strip. (And it is mythology -- several folks who worked at Ford have since revealed the S197 was originally planned to have an independent rear end, and that the drag race traction story was PR spin designed to deflect media criticism of the car's stone-age rear suspension). But even if the GT500 was fitted with Pirelli PZeros like the Camaro, we're not convinced it could match the Chevy's off-the-line grip.

At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for some hot laps, more surprises: The first is that despite the rock hard rubber, the GT500 is a sensational track car. Like the Mustang GT with the TrackPack, it has terrific steering and hyper-aggressive turn-in response. It feels light and agile, and with a ton of power on tap from the supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 pretty much from idle, it's easily steered on the throttle. The Shelby telegraphs its punches well in advance, and the transitions are smooth and predictable.





The big Chevy has better brakes, the 6.2-liter LS3 is smoother and more refined all the way to its 6200-rpm redline, and the rear end traction is superb. But, oh, boy, does it push when you start to push. You feel like you're grabbing armfuls more lock through every turn than you are in the Shelby.

Whereas the GT500 can be hurled into a turn, and you can use the responsive steering and engine to sort out the geometry from there, the Camaro demands carefully judged entry speeds and track position. You get one shot at the optimum line, as the car's trajectory is pretty much non-adjustable from the moment you pull the steering wheel off-center. Try anything other than lifting off the gas -- which destroys mid-corner speed -- and the front end simply runs wide. Compounding the problem is the Camaro's low seating position and gun-slit windows, which make it difficult to place the car accurately.

Out on real world roads, the Camaro is easily the smoother, more refined, more mature car of the two; more deliberate in its moves, and more measured in its responses. The LS3 is a sweetheart, as rich and smooth as molten chocolate right through the rev range, but the drivetrain is spoiled by the aggressive clutch takeup high in the pedal's arc of travel. Other niggles include the oddly profiled steering-wheel rim, which is uncomfortable to hold, and the strangely shaped shifter. The Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual is also not as quick and slick as the version in the ZR1 Corvette.





The GT500 is a much more lively ride off the track, with lots more sharp vertical motions through the suspension, and an unmistakable two-step from the live rear axle through anything other than super-smooth turns. The brakes don't feel as robust as the Camaro's, and the engine is harsher, but the steering is wonderful, the retro-style billiard ball shifter easy to use, the pedals are better placed, and the exhaust crackles and barks like a race car's.

The Chevy Camaro SS is a swaggering rock star of a ponycar. Almost everything you touch and see has been compromised in the name of style -- the front-end graphic looks overwrought, the slammed roof means anyone over 6 feet 2 simply won't fit comfortably in a car equipped with a sunroof, the optional console-mounted gauges look cool but are pretty much useless otherwise, and the trunk opening is little more than a mailbox slot. But the Camaro delivers pure, unadulterated driveway theater few other $30,000-$40,000 cars can match.

The Shelby GT500 is probably the greatest Mustang ever built, the ultimate evolution of a tried-and-true formula that dates back 45 years. It needs better brakes and better tires, and, like the Camaro, needs to lose a few pounds. But it's a comfortably charismatic car; a deliberately rose-tinted, digitally remastered memory of a happier and simpler automotive America. While the Camaro is modern muscle with a manga edge, the GT500 is Norman Rockwell with racing stripes.

Just as the Mustang GT is a lot closer to the Camaro SS than its horsepower difference suggests it ought to be, the Camaro SS is a lot closer to the GT500 than you'd think. The key difference is this: The Camaro can be distant and detatched, almost a little clumsy, especially when driven hard, while the GT500 always feels as playful and engaging as a Labrador on puppy uppers. What we have here is one old-school chassis at the absolute apogee of its development curve versus a new one that has missed the mark for the enthusiast driver on its first go-around (the Camaro's chassis is similar to the Zeta that we love in the Pontiac G8 GXP, but not identical -- the front axle center line has been moved almost two inches forward relative to the firewall).

So the Ford Shelby GT500 is king of the modern ponycar hill. For now.

Specs
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS 2010 Ford Shelby GT500
Base price $34,180 $48,175
Price as tested $37,250 $50,895
Vehicle layout Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe
Engine 6.2L/426-hp/420-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8 5.4L/540-hp /510-lb-ft supercharged DOHC 32-valve V-8
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
Curb weight (dist f/r) 3888 lb (58/42%) 3903 lb (58/42%)
Wheelbase 112.3 in 107.1 in
Length x width x height 190.4 x 75.5 x 54.2 in 188.2 x 73.9 x 54.5 in
0-30 mph 1.9 sec 2.0 sec
0-40 2.6 2.7
0-50 3.5 3.7
0-60 4.5 4.6
0-70 5.7 5.5
0-80 7.2 6.8
0-90 8.7 8.2
0-100 10.5 9.7
Quarter mile 12.9 sec @ 110.7 mph 12.8 sec @ 115.3 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 112 ft 109 ft
100-0 311 ft 324 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.88 g (avg) 0.92 g (avg)
MT figure eight 25.8 sec @ 0.80 g (avg) 25.3 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16/24 mpg 14/22 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.03 lb/mile 1.16 lb/mile
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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should have thrown an STi in there for fun.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
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love how the quarter mile tests are only .1 off in ET, but there's a 4.6mph trap difference between the GT500 and Camaro.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:22 PM   #4
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love how the quarter mile tests are only .1 off in ET, but there's a 4.6mph trap difference between the GT500 and Camaro.
Yet another demonstration that car comparisons should always use the same tires. So few cars stay on stock tires very long that it really ought to be eliminated as a variable. Whether STI versus Evo, or Camaro versus Mustang, I want to see how the hardware performs.

IMO, the ET vs trap numbers also suggest gearing on the GT500 may be conservative. It was certainly so on my '03 Cobra -- it was a pig off the line, but on the top-end it was unstoppable. My STI would spank it up to 80 or 90, I expect, and then the Cobra would cruise by like the STI was hard on the Brembos...
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:10 PM   #5
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Hey, it's not our fault Ford brought a knife to a gunfight. The simple truth is you can buy a 426-horsepower Camaro for the same money as a 315-horsepower Mustang. In fact, order a GT Premium with the TrackPack -- the only way to get the GT500-inspired suspension upgrades, 3.73 rear axle, dual-piston front calipers, recalibrated stability control system, plus the 19-inch wheels and tires that make the 2010 Mustang such a blast through the twisties -- and you'll pay about 1500 bucks more than you would for a 1SS-spec Camaro, which comes standard with Pirelli tires, Brembo brakes, a six speed manual transmission, and a 21st-century rear suspension.
This is an assinine comparison in my opinion. The GT Premium is comparable to the 2SS Camaro, not the 1SS. Both have leather seats, upgraded stereos, etc. IIRC, the GT Premium bases at ~$32kish while the 2SS is near ~$35kish. The GT deluxe is comparable to the 1SS. Put the track pack on the deluxe and you will still have a cheaper car than the Camaro 1SS.

Why are they comparing the oontzy Mustang to the stripper Camaro?
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
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Why are they comparing the oontzy Mustang to the stripper Camaro?
some peeps got write to make a livin'... dun hate the playa, hate the game... they just need sumtin' to write about.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:16 PM   #7
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Yet another demonstration that car comparisons should always use the same tires. So few cars stay on stock tires very long that it really ought to be eliminated as a variable. Whether STI versus Evo, or Camaro versus Mustang, I want to see how the hardware performs.
No, they should be compared as to how you can purchase them. MOST people do not buy a new car and then go buy a different set of new tires. MOST people keep the original set until they wear out and then go for what the best deal is at discount tire or keep the oe tires.
For the minimal percentage of buyers who are interested in the most from their tires, they will look at the stats of the cars, the tires, and make a decision from that stand point.
Personally I would like to have seen what an SS with fewer options would have been able to do.

Nick
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by White out View Post
No, they should be compared as to how you can purchase them. MOST people do not buy a new car and then go buy a different set of new tires. MOST people keep the original set until they wear out and then go for what the best deal is at discount tire or keep the oe tires.
For the minimal percentage of buyers who are interested in the most from their tires, they will look at the stats of the cars, the tires, and make a decision from that stand point.
Personally I would like to have seen what an SS with fewer options would have been able to do.

Nick
i think if a magazine is doing a test of a new car where its not competing against another car, then they should use the tires that come on the vehicle. however, if its a performance comparison of two cars, they should have the same tires in my opinion. this way, the consumers know which car is "better", not which car has the better tires.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:22 PM   #9
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It's a core element of modern Mustang mythology that the GT500's S197 platform has a live rear axle because it delivers better traction on the drag strip. (And it is mythology -- several folks who worked at Ford have since revealed the S197 was originally planned to have an independent rear end, and that the drag race traction story was PR spin designed to deflect media criticism of the car's stone-age rear suspension). But even if the GT500 was fitted with Pirelli PZeros like the Camaro, we're not convinced it could match the Chevy's off-the-line grip.
Figured this needed to be quoted.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by White out View Post
MOST people do not buy a new car and then go buy a different set of new tires. MOST people keep the original set until they wear out and then go for what the best deal is at discount tire or keep the oe tires.
We are not talking about most people, however. We are talking about people who care enough to use magazine comparisons between cars to judge their relative performance.

Do a poll here on NASIOC and ask what percentage of the owners are driving on OE tires. The STI is the one of the few cars I've ever seen that came with a respectable OE tire, and even then I'll bet most STI owners aren't on RE070's.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:27 PM   #11
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Figured this needed to be quoted.
Yeah, we'd hate to miss that meaningless unattributed quote.

In related news, several folks who used to work at Subaru said the 2008 STI was going to have 450 horsepower but the bean counters said no ...
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:34 PM   #12
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This is an assinine comparison in my opinion. The GT Premium is comparable to the 2SS Camaro, not the 1SS. Both have leather seats, upgraded stereos, etc. IIRC, the GT Premium bases at ~$32kish while the 2SS is near ~$35kish. The GT deluxe is comparable to the 1SS. Put the track pack on the deluxe and you will still have a cheaper car than the Camaro 1SS.

Why are they comparing the oontzy Mustang to the stripper Camaro?
Well, according to Ford's website, you must get the GT premium to be able to order the track pack. So the magazine would seem to be correct in saying that you cannot get the track pack Mustang without spending more than you would on the Camaro. From a purely performance standpoint, the Camaro is is the cheaper car.
http://bp2.forddirect.fordvehicles.c...C38C693BC3.pdf
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:40 PM   #13
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From a purely straight line performance standpoint, the Camaro is is the cheaper car.
FTFY .
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
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Yeah, we'd hate to miss that meaningless unattributed quote.
Just because it blows a hole through all the rednecks theories that "ya need them there solid rears to put down power" doesn't mean it's not true.
You can go start some new false rumors or dumb ideas like putting the same tires on every car imaginable as if tire selection isn't some rather large decision that engineers don't spend countless hours debating over. Yeah, engineers just haphazardly pop on any tires that fit without testing and retesting and comparing and contrasting different criteria.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:57 PM   #15
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Just because it blows a hole through all the rednecks theories that "ya need them there solid rears to put down power" doesn't mean it's not true.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

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You can go start some new false rumors or dumb ideas like putting the same tires on every car imaginable as if tire selection isn't some rather large decision that engineers don't spend countless hours debating over. Yeah, engineers just haphazardly pop on any tires that fit without testing and retesting and comparing and contrasting different criteria.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

(and it's not as big a decision as you think -- else you would only be able to run OE tires on any car, and could never replace them with a different brand or model)
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:56 PM   #16
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Well, according to Ford's website, you must get the GT premium to be able to order the track pack. So the magazine would seem to be correct in saying that you cannot get the track pack Mustang without spending more than you would on the Camaro. From a purely performance standpoint, the Camaro is is the cheaper car.
http://bp2.forddirect.fordvehicles.c...C38C693BC3.pdf
Oh, I didn't know that.

But still, comparing a GT Premium to a 1SS isn't an apples to apples comparison. The Mustang will have options and features the Camaro won't. It's not fair to say, "Oh wow gee, this Mustang is slower and it's more expensive" like MT is doing, when it has more options than the Camaro does. MT is being a bit misleading in that regard. A better comparison would be the track pack equipped Mustang GT and the 2SS, even more so when you consider that performance wise, a 1SS isn't any different from a 2SS.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:25 AM   #17
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I like their projector headlights only
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:13 AM   #18
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here we go again. mustang vs camaro
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:13 AM   #19
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Oh, I didn't know that.

But still, comparing a GT Premium to a 1SS isn't an apples to apples comparison. The Mustang will have options and features the Camaro won't. It's not fair to say, "Oh wow gee, this Mustang is slower and it's more expensive" like MT is doing, when it has more options than the Camaro does. MT is being a bit misleading in that regard. A better comparison would be the track pack equipped Mustang GT and the 2SS, even more so when you consider that performance wise, a 1SS isn't any different from a 2SS.
Yeah, when optioned as closely as they can be match I believe the GT premium is about $200 cheaper than the Camaro 2SS. I suppose the underlying point the article was trying to make is that car geeks/rednecks that only care about performance can get their fix cheaper in the Camaro.

I don't know if it will ever happen, but I am very interested in seeing a road test of the regular GT suspension sans track pack.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:25 AM   #20
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Maybe it's the fact that the Mustang has been out longer, but I think the Camaro is so much better looking. Both are way better than the Challenger
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:27 AM   #21
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Camaro wins based on ???..... because I say so!!!

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Old 07-07-2009, 01:06 PM   #22
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Maybe it's the fact that the Mustang has been out longer, but I think the Camaro is so much better looking. Both are way better than the Challenger
I think the Mustang is much better looking.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #23
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Yet another demonstration that car comparisons should always use the same tires. So few cars stay on stock tires very long that it really ought to be eliminated as a variable. Whether STI versus Evo, or Camaro versus Mustang, I want to see how the hardware performs.
I still disagree. If the manufacturer wanted better tires on there, then they should've put better tires on. It's not always that easy to just swap tires, since sometimes some cars' suspension tuning are based on the tires intended for it.

Besides, in this case, I'd say that there's a greater likelihood of the powerband of the GT500 hindering its initial straightline acceleration than its tires being the reason.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:32 PM   #24
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Both are way better than the Challenger
the challenger is extremely heavy, but looks-wise i'll take a Challenger over the new Camaro/Mustang any day of the week. the Challenger actually looks like a modernized version of a car from the late 60's/early 70's. the camaro looks NOTHING like a late 60's/early 70's car and the mustang resembles one, but not nearly as close as the Challenger does.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:08 PM   #25
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You know whats surreal. Subie people arguing over Mustang Vs. Camaro, and maybe somewhere the Pony car guys are arguing over STi Vs. Evo.
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