The Camaro has had its moments, as has the Mustang. Throughout the past 50 years, there have been more lead changes than a seven-game NBA playoff series, and that discussion is about to get even more difficult going into 2016 model year.
Coming off complete redesigns, both ride on new platforms, have an optional four-cylinder engine, and have a new emphasis on lightness. And both still pump out huge amounts of power from a big gnarly V8. So how do they stack up head-to-head?
3.7-liter V6: 300 horsepower, 280 lb-ft torque
2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder: 310 hp, 320 lb-ft torque
5.0-liter V8: 435 hp, 400 lb-ft
2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo: 275-hp, 295 lb-ft torque
3.6-liter V6: 335-hp, 284 lb-ft torque
6.2-liter V8: 455-hp, 455 lb-ft torque
Based on those numbers alone, it would seem that the 2016 Camaro ticks all the right boxes in power and performance. Other than the base engine (Mustang uses a V6 base, Camaro uses 4-cylinder base), the Camaro outguns the iconic pony car by 25-horsepower respectively. So how do they handle?
On The Track
Having driven the 2016 Camaro prototype, I can say without a doubt it is night and day from fith-gen to sixth-gen. Body roll is virtually non-existent, steering is precise, and that V6 is actually pretty throaty.
Stack that up against the 2015 Mustang and the differences are noticeable. Handling wise, the Mustang and its new independent rear suspension (it was a good run, solid rear axle) offers a huge improvement from the previous generation.
But according to one of our writers who has now driven the Camaro prototype and the new ‘Stang, the Camaro has the advantage for track driving.
We won’t be able to give a definitive answer on which is better until we drive the V8 Camaro SS, though.
In the Design Studio
Fans were pretty concerned when both Chevy and Ford announced some drastic styling changes going into 2015/2016. The Camaro and Mustang are design icons and lingered on the outgoing retro design style for quite some time.
For Ford, the Mustang got a major facelift from front to back. The lines are smoother, and that muscle car persona has been replaced with a bit of a sportier look. Fans weren’t in love with the front end when it initially debuted, but over time, it’s one of those designs that starts to grow on you.
As for Camaro, Chevy designers went the evolutionary route. The lines are still aggressive, as is the front end. But where the Mustang went in one direction with sportiness, the Camaro keeps a few muscular lines throughout. It’s much better in person, trust me.
At the end of the day, both of these cars are much improved. With Chevy still working out the final details on the Camaro, we haven’t been able to drive it long enough to give a full verdict just yet.
When we do put it up against the Mustang in the real world, it should be quite the battle.