2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Faces Mustang Shelby GT350R22
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was been very well received. The 2017 Mustang Shelby GT350R has also been very well received. That means one thing: it’s time for a comparison test.
Motor Trend brought both American brutes together for a decisive showing of power, performance and even some handling finesse. It’s clear these cars are not quite like their predecessors: they are multi-trick ponies. On paper, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 eclipses the GT350R with 200 addition pound-feet of torque from the 6.2-liter LT4 supercharged V8 engine.
The Shelby’s Voodoo 5.2-liter V8 manages a totally respectable 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. As we all know, the Camaro ZL1 cranks out 650 of each power measurement.
Things begin to go awry for the Camaro ZL1, however. Judges found the ZL1 to be docile when not pushing the limits, compared to the Shelby GT350R’s constant rambunctious fun factor. A sky-high RPM redline certainly helps in the Shelby.
Then, there was the handling. Judges found the Camaro ZL1 incredibly competent on the winding roads, but the Shelby came alive in the eyes of judges. Steering feel and engagement topped the Camaro and the Shelby was deemed more fun to drive.
So, you can see where this is going. The Camaro ZL1 was edged out by the Shelby GT350R. It’s worth noting the Camaro team has obviously left areas for improvement on the table. The Camaro ZL1 1LE exists for a reason, and we’re still missing the Camaro Z/28 from the sixth-generation Camaro’s expanding portfolio. Until another round, the GT350R goes home a winner.
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I admit: I was a bit surprised by the outcome, but it just goes to show what Ford engineers are capable of! Whereas the current and last gen Camaro models bested the Mustang in handling, Ford’s performance engineers have found a way to implement their version of the magnaride system, and couple it with their newest IRS suspension. Now the performance model Mustangs can run neck-and-neck with the current Camaro! Isn’t that ironic? The normal Camrao models (plus the 1LE) is said by Motor Trend to be superior to the ZL1 Camaro! And they acknowledge how GM “knew” they left something on the table: thus, the ZL1 1LE is said to complete the Camaro experience.
Nevertheless, I see no victor in this comparison; both will appeal to their respective loyalists. And both serve quite a bit of a different purpose: the Camaro ZL1 blends together both track and daily drive-ability, and the Mustang GT350R is mostly all track focused! Pick what you like!
Well said, J, with several caveats apparent. The ZL1 is a street bruiser focused and not intended to be a track master like the GT350R. When the Camaro loses the back seat, then we will have a worthy comparison.
is it still a worthy comparison when one does not have a super charger as well yet still gets beat?
Reg; “is it still a worthy comparison when one does not have a super charger as well yet still gets beat?” _ Depends on the metric used.
Now we can get a ZL1-LE1 Lets take those two to the track, but the real comparison will be the Z28 and the GT350R
These are the things that people say when they have to find a reason to say the Mustang is better but they really cant!
It’s funner to drive!
Has a better feel for the road
Makes me more connected to the road
It’s all BS
“More fun to drive.”. Complete and unadulterated subjectivity.
BTW, these are two very different cars. The ZL1 is a forced induction jack-of-all-trades, whereas the 350R it a naturally aspirated vehicle that has one task…devouring road courses.
It is more then subjective.
I can attest that the GT350R is a hoot to drive. It has all the edge of a race car and the engine is real treat, but as you intimated, the comparison isn’t a valid one, just the only one available till the real comparison arrives.
I don’t know about you but to me, “More fun to drive” means, “being out front when crossing the finish line”, or, when daily driving, having buckets of torque!
Bring on the Camaro(‘s) that are meant for the track!
Really because a miata is “fun to drive” and would cross the finish line a week after these 2 cars.
Being fun is subjective. This review is crap. Put them on a drag strip and see how fun a manual 560hp car is vs a auto 640hp car…. it’s all subjective to what you want the car for.
Go listen to the symphony of flat plane crank V8 at 8300 rpms and you will understand what fun is all about. Anyone who hears that every day will throw away their bottle of viagra and will experience a surge in their testosterone levels… Lol That’s excitement.
The real competitor to the ZL1 will be the upcoming GT500. But things may not be better for the ZL1.
so this is further evidence to support the fact that the Mustang will remain to be the best selling sports car in the world.
The outward visibility is just plain stupid in the Camaro.
I love that people still harp on this outward visibility crap! There are zero outward visibility issues!
If this is the way you see it then it’s a driver issue, either one you can’t drive or two you don’t know how to set up a cars mirrors or three you as a driver don’t know how to use the mirrors.
I’ve driven plenty of the gen 5 and gen 6 camaros and if you set up your mirrors correctly and use them the way they are intended for then driving a Camaro is no problem.
So the question is which category do you fit in?
You can say what you want, but I can’t even sit straight in a Camaro with my head wedged against the roof but I fit very well in a Mustang. In a heavy traffic area, where lane changes are frequent, the highly restricted rear visibility of the Camaro makes it a dangerous car. This is not necessary. Despite the car having great dynamics and a superb powertrain, this is a deal breaker for me and many others.
How tall are you 7 foot tall? I sit in the car just fine! As for your sob story about I CAN’T SEE! It is ridiculous. And I see that you clearly refused to address one of the three groups you might be in!
I am starting to think that you belong in all three!
Can’t set up mirrors
Can’t use mirrors
You clearly are not the only person with this problem
I have a racing license asshole and I own two dedicated track cars. And this isn’t straight line stuff.
Poor visibility and limited headroom are the single most overwhelming negative comments which comes up on Camaro reviews.
Wait for the Z28, that’s all.
If you just want stupid power then the ZL1 is for you.. or just go buy a Hell Cat ..
Straight away power is only good for 1 thing.. the drag strip! What is needed is an alround car, one that checks off as many of your requests as possible (be that the Camaro or the Mustang). It’s really your choice!
Like others say.. Wait for the next Camaro to come along.. well that can be said for the next Mustang also, so your comments are just plan one-sided and show a lack of real thought.
When the GT350R can beat my stock 2015 ZL1 on the track, I’ll believe the slanted comparisons. This comparison is from the people who say BMW out performs Z06 & ZR1 Corvettes. I don’t waste my time with their drivel. I test drive them for myself and form my own opinion. Which is why I bought the ZL1. Out handled similar vehicles on the track and stays close to Hellcats in the straights. Plus I got mine for $52k. With the savings I could make it even faster if I wanted to. It overpowers the Eagle F1’s as it is.
I find it difficult to agree with their outcome that the slower, more expensive car is better.
Any metric they used to put the GT350R on top are entirely subjective and based on a matter of opinion – which has no business being such a powerful deciding factor. If the cars cost the same and performed the same, sure – but that’s not the case.
I just read the article on line and I noticed some interesting things here. First of all motor trend always runs a manual Camaro instead of the 10 speed auto. They know dam well the auto box is faster but they never use it in the comparison, and they have done the same thing when comparing the z06. Second, did you notice the difference between the first lap time Randy made with that camaro Vs the one in the article. Was he holding back or what? Third, what the hell does more fun mean. Dose it mean more on the edge, were as the zl1 was more in control, there for making it easier to drive. And forth faster is faster, that’s why they make these cars, otherwise what’s the point of building them in the first place. Like the line in that movie goes if you win by a bumper or a mile winning is winning.
Chevy has more to offer it just seems the Tech’s are on the rag or something.. they let Pontiac put out a car with 840 hp.. using a gm engine but can’t do that on a Camaro.(WTF). Aside of that they sleep with the enemy.. why go in on a ten speed transmission.. to me all Chevy’s are capable of out doing FORD.. BOTTOM LINE..” GET ER DONE”..
All I can tell you is I love MY ZL1. If it handled or hauled ass much better, I could hardly stand it.