2011 Mustang GT versus Camaro SS
In late March, we had the opportunity to testdrive Ford's new 5.0L '11 Mustang GT. You probably already know about the Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) all-aluminum V-8-code named "Coyote"-that makes 412 hp. On paper, that number alone should give the Mustang GT a performance advantage over the Camaro SS' 400hp automatic, and 426hp manual trans versions, that is once you figure in the Camaro's extra 250 pounds of curb weight. Ford is understandably proud of its achievement, and during the press introduction they set up an eighth-mile dragstrip at Camarillo Airport to prove the GT's superiority.
We lined up to drive both the Camaro SS and the Mustang GT (both six-speed automatics), trying different launch techniques. When the dust settled, we had a fistful of timeslips to prove that the new 5.0 Mustang was faster-and by a substantial margin. Our best e.t. in the Camaro was 8.82 at 83 mph-which turned out to be one of the best for the day. Not bad, but in the Mustang, we managed 8.62 at 86 mph. In the theoretical quarter-mile-and given the traction limitations of the airport's untreated surface (and no water or burnouts allowed)-that's roughly 13.80 for the Camaro and 13.50 for the Mustang. Other journalists faired similarly, but the plot thickens ...
Rather than go on the "approved" press tour, one pair of journalists snuck a six-speed manual 5.0 liter off to the Dynojet chassis dyno where it made 395 hp to the rear wheels (as well as 365 lb-ft of torque). Even with a meager 15 percent drivetrain loss, that number equates to nearly 465 hp at the flywheel. We can't verify those dyno numbers, but as these cars hit the street, it will quickly become apparent that the Mustang is in it to win it. With a base price of $30,495, 26 mpg, and 250 pounds less curb weight than the Camaro SS, the Mustang is shaping up to be the spoiler. We can easily see going 12s with nothing more than a good set of Nitto drag radials and a healthy burnout. Now if only Dodge would answer the call and beef up their Challenger R/T for battle! Look for a full report on the '11 Mustang GT in the August issue.
Blown and Badass
Hurst to the Rescue
Fortunately, the aftermarket is not waiting for Chevy to build a faster, more agile Camaro SS. Hurst is now offering their Camaro Series 5, a striped and be-spoilered special edition that takes the Camaro SS to new heights-visually and performance-wise. Yes, the Hurst Series 5 has all the telltale upgrades, like wheels, decals, emblems, and spoilers, but it also has serious power boosters, like an intercooled Hurst/Magnuson supercharger and a MagnaFlow exhaust system. The Magnuson twin-screw blower has an integral bypass valve for low parasitic drag, yet puts down 492 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels-that's Z06 killing power folks. To handle all that, Hurst endows their Series 5 with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter, Eibach suspension components, and massive BFGoodrich KDW performance tires. Only 50 of these will be built by Hurst each year, and each comes with a custom Hurst gold car cover, a signed certificate of authenticity, and signatures in the trunk from the Hurst team to complete the car's provenance. So, how much is all this goodness going to cost you? About $30,000 over the cost of a standard Camaro SS.