There is no rivalry in the automotive world that has been as long or as continuous as that between the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang. A fan-favorite fight since the Camaro debuted in 1967, these two American icons never disappoint when they go head to head for muscle car dominance. There has never been a pairing of these two vehicles that are as capable as the ones available on dealer lots today, with models like the Camaro ZL1 1LE and the Mustang Shelby GT500 offering supercar-rivaling levels of performance. Now, Car and Driver has yet again decided which one is best.
The last time that we got to see a GT500 and a 1LE square off on the pages of Car and Driver, it was all the way back in 2012 with the previous generation models. The current Camaro ZL1 1LE is a few years old at this point, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t ready to face-off with the pony car from the Blue Oval.
Under the hood of the Chevrolet sits the familiar 6.2L supercharged LT4 V8 engine borrowed from the C7 generation Corvette Z06, producing 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. All of that torque is available down low at 3600 rpm, contributing to the Camaro’s wide powerband and quick 0-60 sprint time of 3.4 seconds.
The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is the newest entry into the muscle car horsepower war, and it came out swinging with 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque from its 5.2L supercharged V8 engine. The Shelby certainly has the power advantage over the Camaro, but the lower torque figure is likely a result of the lower displacement. The Shelby certainly carries more weight too, with its 4,059 pound curb weight coming in nearly 200 pounds heavier than the Zl1 1LE. The result is a slower 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds.
When it comes to muscle cars, the 1/4 mile is the end all be all of arguments. Stick the latest versions of the Camaro ZL1 and the Mustang Shelby GT500 next to each other, and they cross the line in nearly identical times. The GT500 will crosses the line first in 11.4 seconds at 132 mph, while the Camaro is a hair behind with a time of 11.5 seconds at 124 mph. The disparity in trap speed highlights the GT500’s immense power, as it continues to pull harder than the Camaro past the 1/4 mile mark.
That being said, it is actually the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE that C&D have called the victor in this most recent of over 50 comparisons that they have done between the two muscle cars. While we will let you read for yourself how the two cars actually stack up in the real world, know that the value of the Camaro simply was too much for the GT500 to overcome. Point Chevrolet.