The Camaro and Mustang have been compared since 1967 when the F-body model made its debut. Today, nothing remains more true as Chevy and Ford try to seemingly one-up one another with their latest creations- the 2012 Camaro ZL1 and the 2013 Mustang GT 500. You’ve seen the performance numbers and probably a few comparison videos for the two by now, but those haven’t been from the crew at DRIVE. Check out the unexpected comparison video above.
Brit Chris Harris seems to be exactly what the American muscle car pair needs for an unbiased comparison. Now a days, if you’re an American and not devoutly committed to just one brand in the Chevy vs. Ford debate, people tend to look at you in an odd way. However, being from Europe, Harris is more enthused about the BMW brand than anything, which he mentions on a regular basis in the video.
While driving powerful muscle cars on tracks seems to be the thing to do these days, Harris starts out his comparison by driving both the ZL1 and the GT 500 through the streets of New York City. Driving cars that produce a combined 1,259hp in the midst of downtown traffic may seem like a crazy thing to do, but we like what Harris was thinking. After all, it’s not every day that you can go to the track and unleash your muscle car; and if you’re like a lot of folks, having only one car to commute and play in is about all you can manage, especially with sticker prices for both cars exceeding $50k.
But Harris doesn’t just keep it on the NY streets. We’re also treated to the more traditional track thrashing with the muscular pair before the Brit makes his final decision about the cars. Although Harris tries to slide the Camaro around a bit, this proves to be difficult. The Mustang, on the other hand, is a whole different story.
Plenty of horsepower makes it fun on the track while superior handling qualities make it easy to cruise around at low speeds and use in everyday life.
The GT 500 undoubtedly has more power than the ZL1 but as Harris puts it, “is dominated by its engine.” Handling is a bit more iffy, making the car harder to drive on the streets and even a little more difficult to manage on the track. Although, the Mustang holds more true to its brothers from the muscle car era in this sense.
We love our ZL1s around here no matter what the critics from the pro-Ford side say. We don’t mean to be mean, but it looks like Camaro’s Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser hit it spot on when he responded to the information about the GT 500 with, “The days of ‘no replacement for displacement’ are over, and it’s not enough to be fast in a straight line. With the Camaro ZL1, we set out to deliver integrated performance, and be equally good at acceleration, braking, grip, and turning.”