To put the classic automatic vs. manual debate to rest, Hot Rod Magazine took two brand-spanking new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS coupes to the drag strip — one with the TR6060 6-speed manual transmission, one with the 8L90 8-speed automatic. Both of course, with the 6.2L LT1 V8, rated at 455 horsepower to the crank.
At Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona, professional drag racer, Jeff Lutz, put his foot to the ground to see which one was faster in a straight line. On paper, the auto-equipped SS is said to finish the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds — the manual in 12.5 seconds.
After 50 laps at the strip, Lutz clocked faster times than the claimed numbers. In the Silver Ice Metallic, auto 2SS, Lutz achieved a 12.21 second quarter-mile at 115 mph. With the Lemon Peel, manual 1SS, Lutz managed a 12.4 second quarter-mile, also at 115 mph.
To top it all off, Lutz finished off the day with some good ol’ American donuts. So many donuts, that the tires were deemed un-drivable at the end. Luckily, Bondurant Racing School was nearby with the rubber the Camaro needed.