2013 Ford Mustang vs. Chevrolet Camaro
There are a few legendary rivalries in this world: Coke and Pepsi, UCLA vs. USC, Guns N' Roses and Poison, and Ford's Mustang pitted against the Chevrolet Camaro. This last one is such an ongoing and heated debate that we're not even going to take sides; we'll simply state the facts and let you come to your own conclusions. (The Shelby GT500 and Camaro ZL1 are reviewed separately.) For the 2013 model year, Ford's original muscle car receives new front and rear fascias, LED tail lamps, and a more prominent grille and front splitter. The GT's V-8 gets a bump of 8 horsepower, bringing its output to 420 ponies. Track Apps are standard on upper trims. During track days, this feature monitors performance metrics, including g-forces, acceleration times for quarter-mile and 0-60 mph, and braking times with automatic and countdown starts. In this corner, we find that Chevy releases its road-racing-inspired Camaro 1LE Performance Package for 2013. Tacking on features like unique gearing, suspension tuning and tires that help this muscle car serve up more than 1 G of lateral acceleration, this lightning-fast Camaro lapped the Virginia International Raceway Grand Course in under 3 minutes. This bundle is offered exclusively for SS coupes equipped with the manual transmission.
The 2013 Ford Mustang
A 3.7-liter V-6 engine producing 305 horses and 280 lb.-ft. of torque powers standard Mustang coupes and ragtops and sends power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or available six-speed automatic with SelectShift. The latter transmission features a sequential manual shift mode and allows the driver to hold a chosen gear all the way to redline. The previously mentioned GT 420-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 pairs with either transmission to deliver 390 lb.-ft. of torque. This model also comes equipped with a limited-slip differential. The uber-tasty Boss 302 receives a tweaked version of the 5.0-liter V-8, increasing dyno digits to 444 horses and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. This particular Mustang only pairs with the manual. The V-6/automatic combo returns EPA estimates of 19 mpg in the city and up to 31 mpg on the highway; convertibles earn a teeny bit less.* The V-6 and manual list 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway. The V-8 tallies 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the automatic and 15 mpg city/26 mpg highway for the manual.
2013 Chevrolet Camaro
Chevy Camaro SS models receive a 6.2-liter V-8 that gargles 426 horses while hammering out 420 lb.-ft. of torque via a six-speed manual. When paired with the available six-speed automatic, it takes things down a notch to deliver 400 horses and 410 lb.-ft. Standard trims receive a 323-horsepower V-6, which also pairs with both transmissions. Not only is the standard engine in Chevy's 2013 racer engineered with direct injection and variable valve timing, it offers impressive fuel efficiency. When paired with the six-speed automatic, the 323-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 earns drivers up to 30 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the V-8 and automatic setup list up to 24 mpg while cruising highway speeds. For Camaros paired with the manual, Chevy now offers its hill-start assist, which keeps the Camaro from rolling backward when taking off from an inclined position.
Also part of the Camaro's stellar performance is its upgraded suspension: The independent rear suspension and variable-ratio power steering give those behind the wheel superior handling. Its balance is stellar, too, thanks to the 52:48 front-to-rear weight ratio. Paired with standard 20-in. wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance tires and outfitted with Brembo brakes, this Chevy is tough competition. *All vehicle mileage based on 2013 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.