In the blue corner, we have the Mustang Shelby GT500 — weighing in at 3,850 pounds and cranking out 650 horses and 600 pound-feet of torque. In the yellow corner, we have the Camaro ZL1 — being responsible for 4,120 pounds of mass and making 580 horsepower and 556 lb.-ft. of twist. Which looks faster on paper?
You could imagine our elation when, at an Arizona drive event for the ZL1, Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser told Autoblog, “We’ve done simulations. We predict that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60 than the  GT500… We ran the Nürburgring and released a time. Ford took the GT500, too, and never released a time. I guess you can draw your own conclusions.”
Autoblog then proceeded to ask Oppenheiser point-blank if the ZL1 is quicker around the ‘Ring. “No question”, replied Oppenheiser.
The GM Authority Take
For starters, this is the same valiant Al Oppenheiser who told Mustang fans “You’re Welcome” for prompting Ford to do its best with the GT500. Ultimately, all of the ‘Stang’s power may not be any good if it can’t be put to the ground in some effective manner.
And let’s remember that the Mustang is still toting around that solid rear axle compared to the all-independent suspenders outfitted with third gen Magentic Ride shocks on the ZL1. Now, let’s give credit where credit is due: Ford has done some very respectable things to bring that solid rear axle into the 21st century, so this aspect may not matter one bit. And when it comes to the ‘Ring… well, the driver can make all the difference, as well.
Here’s what should happen: Mr. Oppenheiser should invite Ford and its GT500 to a tug-of-war… on the strip. But The Blue Oval already declined this, as it did with the heavy duty tug-o-war invitation. In that case, Chevy should give the GM Authority team the keys to a ZL1 and Ford should give Ford Authority the keys to a GT500. And we’ll settle it, once and for all.
PS: and where is the Challenger in all of this?