2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 vs 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 - On Track

A. J. Mueller

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe

MSRP (with destination): $54,995

6.2-liter OHV supercharged V-8
Horsepower: 580 @ 6100 rpm
Torque: 556 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm

6-speed manual


20-inch aluminum wheels
285/35YR-20 Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 front tires
305/35YR-20 Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 rear tires

FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
14/19/16 mpg

4120 lb

Doors/Passengers: 2/4
Cargo: 11.3 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 42.4/29.9 in
Headroom (front/rear): 37.4/35.3 in
Towing: N/A

Victory Red/Black

HID headlights
Aluminum hood w/painted carbon-fiber hood insert
Magnetic ride control
Limited-slip differential
Dual-mode performance exhaust
Brembo disc brakes
Stability and traction control
OnStar w/six-month trial subscription
Rear parking assist
Rearview camera w/rearview mirror monitor
6-way power adjustable front seats
Heated front passenger seats
Folding rear seats w/pass-through
Auxiliary gauges w/boost read-out
Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
Head-up display
USB port
SiriusXM satellite radio w/one-year subscription
Rear spoiler
Fog lights

Suede microfiber package- $500
Exposed carbon-fiber weave hood insert- $600
Solid dark gray stripe- $470
20-inch bright aluminum wheels- $470
GGT- $1300

6-speed automatic transmission- $1185
Power sunroof- $900
Audio system subwoofer- $1065

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 coupe

MSRP (with destination): $54,995

5.8-liter DOHC supercharged V-8
Horsepower: 662 @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 631 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

6-speed manual


19-inch aluminum front wheels
20-inch aluminum rear wheels
265/40YR-19 Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 front tires
285/35YR-20 Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 rear tires

FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
15/24/18 mpg

3852 lb

Doors/Passengers: 2/4
Cargo: 13.4 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 42.4/29.8 in
Headroom (front/rear): 38.5/34.7 in
Towing: N/A

Grabber Blue/Black

3.31:1 final drive ratio
Aluminum hood w/air extractor
Automatic HID projector headlights
Quad rear-exit exhaust system
Shaker audio system
Sport bucket seats
Air conditioning
SiriusXM satellite radio w/trial subscription
Electrically assisted steering
Capless fuel filler
Brembo disc brakes
Carbon-fiber driveshaft
Stability and traction control
Launch control system
Manual four-way driver’s seat

Performance package- $3495
Torsen differential
Painted forged-aluminum wheels
Bilstein adjustable dampers
Unique rear springs, instrument cluster, and shift knob
SVT Track package- $2995
Engine oil cooler
Differential and transmission coolers w/pumps
Leather Recaro seats- $1595

Glass roof- $1995 Electronics package- $2340 Heated front seats- $295

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@slwonghttp://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1203_2012_chevrolet_camaro_zl1_vs_2012_ford_mustang_boss_302_laguna_seca/Here ya go man.
Now we know, why FORD did not posted their lap times on the Nurburgring track, the GT500 was not going to look good against the ZL1. The Shelby GT500 es only good for the 1/4 mile races. Too bad.
I'm an owner of a '11 Mustang GT 5.0 Brembo package, that has shown on different magazines that is a much better car than the Camaro SS, Challenger, Charger and strong competition to the BMW M3. The Mustang BOSS Laguna very easy will beat the BMW M3, Porsche Cayman R and the 8 cyl Audi R8 (not the 10 cyl) on the track. But at this time, we need to give credit to the Camaro ZL1, that is similar in performance at the track to his brother the Corvette Grand Sport, and yes it has a more rounded performance package than the 2013 Shelby GT500, that is only good for straight racing, and I believe no one will have a chance to explore the GT500 200 MPH top speed, only the magazines, so it's just for bragging rights. Neither of this cars will have a chance to compete with the Nissan GTR, but this one belongs to another league (Corvette Z06 carbon competition). Great work GM!!, let's wait for the next Mustang IRS.
Perhaps a better head-to-head showdown would have involved the Boss 302 Laguna, not the Shelby.
Make mine the "ZL1" the Ford Blues Bloods can have their "Selby" & spout off @ the mouth about figures & facts, but "Eye Appeal & Pure Excitement" are what I'm going for & the "ZL1" just "LOOKS" Fast sittin' there, "nuff said, Wake me up when the "FORD" people leave & I'll get yer' blood a-pumpn'.. :)))
@svttimSorry, but the drag comparison proves no bias either. The GT500 won by a wide margin and they praised it for that. What they did like about the ZL1 is that it kept it composure better than the GT500. They are not the only ones who have said the same.
SVTTIM, For the drag race they said that the GT500 wins the race, they just said the Camaro was more composed and less scary in the drag race. They didn't say Camaro number 1, GT500 number 2.Every article I've read in various magazines has said that the GT500 doesn't handle as well as they would like. Road and Track says that the Boss 302 is a way better handling car. They say if you like drag racing pick the GT500, if you like corners pick the Boss 302.Motor Trend said they LOVED the Boss 302 during last year's Best Drivers Car. But this year before the GT500 came out they put the ZL1 against the Boss 302 and said driving them back to back it was no comparison. The MRC shocks are just to good. Places that would have the Boss 302 bouncing around the ZL1 tracked over like there was no bumps.I always find it so funny when readers think they no so much more than the magazine testers and if their car loses claim it was fixed! Yes every magazine is dirty, but only when your car loses...
@redvette, Yes, I like the GT500. No, I did not expect it to prevail at Gingerman. Ill certainly take that bet, as I said, Ill even give the Camaro to the pro (they wont do it)Your comments about the track performance of the GT500 is correct for 2007-2010, fact is, the ZL1 targeted the 2012 svt version which, handles very well. I may have bought into your "fair " comment until I read the drag review. Its very obvious Automobile favors the ZL1. Ill say it again, the ZL1 is a great car. If you read this review, you easily see where Automobile does not feel the same about the GT500.
@ svttimIt sounds to me that you like thee GT500, were expecting it to win, and are upset that it didn't. Even on a larger track with more straights, I still think the ZL1 could come out on top. That magnetic ride suspension basically works magic, and the GT500 has never been known to handle well around any track. Every magazine may have their biases. But, Automobile is one of the least, if not the least biased of all car publications.
That would be a bit more that 3400 in performance options. Coolers are great and in the long run, would help performance, not in a lap or two. Your still missing the point, Road courses are not like drag tracks, they all are different and can favor one platform over the other. Gingerman is a very tight course and, I can see that the ZL1 would have an advantage. That would not be the case at a larger track that favors more power.
@svttimBeing 7/10 slower in a car that has ~$7500 worth of optional track packages added on is a big deal. I bet the disparity in times would be larger if you tested a base model ZL1 vs base GT500. I've noticed that for the reviews of the GT500, Ford has provided the media with a Mustang with all the track packages included. GM's options are purely appearance upgrades because it comes stock with the track equipment.I would like to see some tests with both cars at their base prices.
Sorry Chris, I am a road racer. I have not driven the 13 model. I have driven the 12 svt car on track. No issues with understeer. The 13 is better in all respects compared with the 12. Also, as i said, 7 10s is not huge given one lap. And, thats one track. Take the cars to Road America or VIR and Ill bet you a paycheck theresults are different. After reading both articals, the ZL1 kills the GT500 on any road course but when handed its head at the dragstrip, they dont care about timeslips.The ZL1 is a fantastic car but, we will have to wait for a serious automotive publication to see how they compare
SVTTIM, if everyone with a bias wasn't a journalist we'd have no journalists. Everyone has a bias, it's human nature... But being ethical involves working past your bias. This isn't just true of journalism, it's true of any profession. In my job I could let my biases make my decisions but I choose to do what is best for the project/client. It's called professionalism.I don't think any racer would consider .7 second a lap to be small. That's huge! And if the GT500 understeers as bad as this article, Car & Driver, MotorTrend, Road & Track and InsideLine says then it's going to eat up those tires in no time. I bet after 10 laps it will be larger than .7 a lap.Every article I've read has said it's a monster on the straight but doesn't handle with the same precision as the GT or Boss 302.I live in the prairies, most of my fun comes from the straights not the curves so I'd be tempted by the GT500 but I also do fly through some corners and for that it sounds like the ZL1 is the one to have.
I don't buy it either. I took two Insideline photos of both cars at the same point around their figure 8 track and measured the roll angle of each vehicle. http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/camaro/2012/2012-chevrolet-camaro-zl1-vs-2013-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500-comparison-test.html The results I found were clear and easily repeatable. I used Adobe CS5. The Gt500 they tested had a 3.3 degree angle of roll. while the Camaro at the very same point around the track rolled at a slightly higher angle of 3.5 degrees. So this talk about a "boatload" of body roll is a boatload of bull shit Automobile rag. For comparison sake I also measured the angles in the same way on Insidelines' testing of the 2013 V6 Mustang against the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. http://www.insideline.com/hyundai/genesis-coupe/2013/2013-ford-mustang-v6-vs-2013-hyundai-genesis-coupe-comparison-test.html The Mustang 3.5 and the Genesis 3.3.
Chris, you are correct, I am biased. Thats why I dont write articles on cars and call myself a journalist. I have no doubt the ZL1 is a fantastic car. But to compare the two cars on one, very short track and declare victory is disengenous and misleading. And 7 10ths is not much of an advantage. Yes, if you can maintain that every lap, but not a one time deal. Now, if the ZL1 wins the drag strip, we know there is an agenda here
A few points: When you employ mass quantities of technology in your suspension you will get results. A GTR will take out both these bad boys easily because of the technology it employs. I am awaiting delivery of my GT500 and have been reading all the articles.If I ever met a Camaro, it is not going to be at a race track. I have only seen them on the highway or traffic lights or drag strip. In most of North America the roads are linear. Very few corners. An average driver would not have the courage to push the car to what these guys are. I guess, my point is, in any everyday driving scenario a GT500 would take out a ZL1. On a race track, a GTR would take out both. My friends keep on bragging about the 'RING, my point to them is when are they going to ship their cars to Germany and drive it there? Some scenarios are nice but in real life, pointless.
Yeah I don't buy it. I'm unbiased -- I think both cars are great, but I highly doubt the GT500 is so bad. I've driven a Mustang GT and it's pretty decent stock. I can't imagine this 2013 GT500 being worse. Again, unbiased -- if I had to choose, I'd go with the Shelby. Suspension mods are easier to deal with than 4150lbs and a bad shifter and poor visibility. I also think the Shelby looks better. Having said that I'd love to have either of these cars.
Svttim, I think you read his comment wrong... He didn't say he wanted the "ZL1 to win" before he drove them. If so maybe you could question the integrity. Even if he did want the ZL1 to win before driving them wouldn't mean that he doesn't have integrity. You're obviously a Ford fan (SVT in your user id) are you saying if you did this test you couldn't have integrity?What he's saying is after he drove them both he was hoping the ZL1 won the race (posted the faster time) because he liked how it drove better.From what I've read in a couple reviews now the ZL1 is the better handling car. You're right on a power track maybe the GT500 would win. But on this track it had it's butt handed to it by a car that's considerably heavier and less powerful. Says something about how much better handling the ZL1 is. The GT500 is the better muscle car, the ZL1 is the better corner carver.And the review isn't over, they're also doing a drag strip, which will favor the GT500 then a road trip.
"I wanted the ZL1 to win,"And so it did. You'll understand if we question your integrety "Its handling capabilities far exceed the straight-line advantage owned by the Shelby"At Gingerman, Really? If you were a bit more objective, you would have admitted that one track does not make for a victory. Maybe in indy lights. Tell ya what, bring both cars to Road America and Ill let you drive the Camaro, since you are the professional. Id be happy to send you back with your tail between your legs.

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