Is there such a thing as too much horsepower? Not if you’re a muscle car fanatic. The rivalry between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, has been ongoing since the Camaro was introduced to counter the Mustang in 1967. It stalled briefly when General Motors discontinued the Camaro in 2001, then reignited when the all-new Chevy Camaro in 2009 as a 2010 model.
Late last year, Chevrolet looked like it again topped the Ford Mustang GT500 and its 550 horsepower V-8 with the the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the brand’s most powerful Camaro ever. Equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 generating a staggering 580 horsepower, the Chevy Camaro ZL1 could zip from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Note that’s with the (optional) six-speed automatic. The 2012 Camaro ZL1 is actually slower with the standard six-speed manual transmission, though taking 4 seconds to reach the same speed is just splitting hairs.
Ford, of course, wouldn’t (couldn’t?) let such an affront to its muscle car go unchallenged. The automaker recently announced details on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Also equipped with a supercharged V-8, the 2013 Ford Mustang GT500 pulls ahead of the Chevy Camaro ZL1 at 662 horsepower, or more than 80 ponies than the ZL1 can muster. Ford also adds insult to injury by pointing out the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is even more fuel efficient than its rival, getting an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with standard manual gets an EPA estimated 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Nice figures, though honestly we see muscle cars buyers giving fuel economy figures the short shrift when considering their next purchase.
Automotive.com’s take: Ball’s in your court, Chevy.