The fifth-generation Chevy Camaro is no longer in production, replaced with the highly-anticipated all-new, sixth-gen 2016 Camaro. But that doesn’t change the fact that the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, with its burly 505 horsepower from the LS7 V8 and notable handling prowess is a very capable vehicle. And since there isn’t a Z/28 variant of the sixth-gen Camaro (at least not yet), it was recently tasked with taking on the 526-horsepower 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R in a recent showdown from Motor Trend. While we rooted for the Z/28 without hesitation, the higher power figure, lower price, and lighter weight of the GT350R gave us an audible ‘gulp’ during the first minute of the Motor Trend video.
The Camaro Z/28
As we watched Jason Cammisa row through the gears of the Z/28 sweeping through gorgeous winding roads, we were immediately reminded that this car was the 2014 Best Driver’s Car: Jason doesn’t seem to be fond of anything but the drivability of the Camaro.
“It’s really precise, and natural,” is what the host says of the Camaro’s steering, while adding that it has “torque everywhere”.
The Mustang Shelby GT350R
As for the Mustang Shelby GT350R, well Jason falls in love with the car before he even starts the engine. The rear-view camera, higher-quality interior, and ‘love it or hate it’ racing stripe are enough to have him strung in by the mean-looking pony.
We must admit, Jason seems to have more fun in the Mustang, but we aren’t sure if the acoustics of the exhaust system is what influenced this glee, or if the GT350R is actually more fun to drive than the Z/28. Though he does make it a point to say that the GT350R feels like it has lighter steering while being more agile than the Z/28.
Pulling dyno charts for both pony cars, the Z/28 makes way more torque down low, while the GT350R gives its oomph up top.
Around the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway circuit, the Mustang ends up completing its lap about one second faster than the Camaro. And in the western-style 1/4 mile drag race, the Mustang comes out on top with a 12.1-second time at 119.6 mph versus the Camaro’s 12.3 seconds at 116.1.
Based on of these observations, Jason awards the Mustang GT350R as the victor.
The GM Authority Take
First and foremost: the test is comparing an all-new car (Mustang) to one that is no longer in production (production of the fifth-gen Camaro ended in November of 2015). So the way we see it, any and all issues pointed out in the video about the Camaro have been and/or will be addressed by the sixth-generation Camaro. Problem is that the gen six Camaro doesn’t have an ultra-high-performance track variant (like a Z/28) just yet. But when one does show up, this comparison will need to be performed once again… and something tells us that the Mustang will not walk away the winner.
So, what are your thoughts? Is this enough for you to accept the GT350R as the top dog compared to the Z/28? And what of the the sixth-gen Camaro? Talk to us in the comments.