Flexing the Muscles
Car and Driver pits Mustang, Camaro and Challenger in head-to-head-to-head competition
This comparo actually happened back in July (before we launched Exhaust Notes). However, we wanted to give this muscle-machine matchup a shout-out because, as the article notes, it's been 40 years in the making, and it's not likely that you will see new iterations of these three classic powerhouses released within the same year ever again. So, on to the winner ...
Would you believe us if we told you that the smallest, lightest ride with the least horsepower and the highest fuel efficiency -- and the only one of the three without a 6-speed transmission -- actually won this muscle-car challenge?
The writers and editors at Car and Driver seemed barely able to believe it themselves, but it's true: The Ford Mustang GT took the top spot, despite the attributes listed above (all three cars, for the sake of fair comparison, ran on V8 engines and sported manual transmissions).
While the third-place 2009 Challenger R/T got high marks for classically updated retro-'60s styling and smooth ride, it lost points for a slow (5.1 seconds) zero-to-60 mph time and cheap, plastic-filled interior. The Chevy Camaro SS, in second place, was the fastest of the bunch (zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds) and impressed with ultrafirm brakes, but left the reviewers shortsighted, literally, with a poorly thought-out chop top that hampered the view.
That left the 2010 Ford Mustang GT at the top of the heap. Despite its (relatively) low horsepower, its zero-to-60 mph time was only 0.1 second off the Camaro SS's top time thanks to its light weight, and its braking power drew the same high marks. What really put the pony over the top, though, were its superb handling, throaty engine noise and slick interior.
Of course, we all know that when it comes to classic American muscle, a magazine review just won't cut it -- it all comes down to your gut feeling.
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