Camaro SS 1LE vs. Mustang GT Performance Pack Drive Review

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Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE and Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack represent the all-American sportscar of today: Fast, fun and attainable.

It’s the classic American muscle car battle: Camaro SS versus Mustang GT, but with a twist. Both modern muscle cars feature their brands’ respective performance packages. After all, these days, if your performance car can’t run fast hot laps around the local race track, what good is it, really?

Both cost about $50,000, both have screaming, naturally-aspirated V8 engines with more than 450 horsepower, and both represent their respective brands’ everyday performance car, tuned up to throw down. So, which is best?

Chevrolet Chevy Camaro SS 1LE vs. Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Comparison Review 2018 2019 Muscle Cars Sports Cars America American Jake Stumph

In the Left Corner

Wearing the Silver Ice Metallic paint is the 2018 Camaro SS 1LE. To be specific, this is the high-spec 2SS Camaro, which, with a base price of $42,000, comes with a 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine, 6-speed manual transmission, heated-and-ventilated power seats, a premium Bose audio system, a head-up display, and some passive safety tech, like blind spot monitoring.

From there, the $7,000 1LE package adds a 1LE-specific 20-inch wheel and tire package, GM MagneRide adaptive suspension, Recaro bucket seats, an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, a bi-modal exhaust, massive Brembo brakes, some sweet suede-wrapped interior goodies, and some satin black-wrapped exterior pieces, for added menace. Oh, and coolers for everything, including engine oil, a bigger radiator, transmission and differential.

Additionally, this Camaro has the optional $1,300 Performance Data Recorder, which can log and record vehicle data as well as track driving video. And, finally, this particular Camaro SS 1LE has the upgraded $495 Chevy MyLink audio system, with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, bluetooth, and touchscreen functionality.

All in, this Camaro SS 1LE sits at $51,790, which includes the $995 destination and delivery charge.

Chevrolet Chevy Camaro SS 1LE vs. Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Comparison Review 2018 2019 Muscle Cars Sports Cars America American Jake Stumph

In the Right Corner

Wearing the Kona Blue trunks is the Mustang GT Performance Pack. This GT started life as a GT Premium model, with a base MSRP of $39,095. From there, like the Camaro, a bunch of performance goodies have been added to spice things up.

That Performance Pack kit, a $3,995 option, adds 19-inch wheels with Michelin summer rubber, a large strut tower brace, stiffer front springs, additional front crossmember bracing, a larger rear sway bar, an upgraded brake package, and 3.73 rear end gears. Additionally, this Mustang also features the $2,200 Equipment Group 401A option (catchy name, I know) that includes an upgraded stereo and infotainment system. It also features an adjustable exhaust system, which is an a la carte $895 option. Lastly, this Mustang, again like the Camaro, has adaptive MagneRide suspension. This is a standalone $1,695 option on the Mustang GT, even with the Performance Pack.

To clarify, while Chevrolet offers just one track-inspired performance option, the 1LE, Ford offers two with the Performance Pack and more aggressive Performance Pack 2. The PP2 Mustang features a more finely-tuned track day suspension setup, with MagneRide as standard, and a massive wheel and tire package. The PP2 Mustang is a better direct competitor to the Chevy, but was not available for testing.

All in, this Mustang GT Performance Pack sits at $48,780, including the $900 destination and delivery charge.

Continue reading about the Camaro SS 1LE and Mustang GT Performance Pack on the next page.

Jake Stumph is a lifelong car enthusiast and racer, who has operated as the content editor for Internet Brands Automotive since 2015. He runs Corvette Forum, 6SpeedOnline, Honda-tech, and LS1tech, among other Internet Brands Automotive websites. His work has been featured by several other prominent automotive outlets, including Jalopnik and Autobytel.

He obtained a bachelor's degree in Political Science at the Ohio State University in 2013, then pivoted from covering politics and policy to writing about his automotive adventures, something that, he says, is a lot more fun. Since that time, he has established connections with most of the world's major automakers, as well as other key brands in the automotive industry.

He enjoys track days, drifting, and autocross, at least, when his cars are running right, which is uncommon. You can check out what he's up to on his YouTube channel, as well as his Jake Stumph Racing Instagram account. He can be reached via email at [email protected]

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