Camaro SS 1LE Opens Up Can of Whup-ass on Mustang GT Rival
Throttle House tests the track beasts on the road, and while they love the Mustang, both prefer the Camaro.
The video above comes to us from the Throttle House YouTube channel and it features a head-to-head comparison of the 2019 Ford Mustang GT with the Performance Pack2 and the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE. If this sounds familiar, it should, LS1tech‘s editor staged a very similar shoot-out last year. These are each company’s affordable track beast (as opposed to the pricier ZL1 1LE and the Shelby GT350) and for the price, these are two of the best American sports cars on the market.
However, since far more owners will drive these cars on the road than those who will buy them to go racing, Throttle House hosts Thomas Holland and James Engelsman take to the streets with each to see which they prefer. As you might imagine with this piece being featured on a GM-based site, the Camaro is the winner, but the early stages of the video make it sound like they might pick the Mustang.
The First Leg
When the on-road action begins, Holland is in the Camaro and Engelsman is in the Mustang. The footage jumps back and forth between the two, with each driver offering their input on the given vehicle.
When Holland drives the SS 1LE, he begins by pointing out the features that make this car so track-capable, like the electronic limited slip differential, bigger brakes, better seats, magnetic ride control, a datalogging system and a cooling package that helps the engine, transmission and differential stand up to the rigors of track time. Hey, that sounds a lot like another excellent General Motors product, the Cadillac ATS-V. Holland elaborates, saying that there are few cars that are so nicely purpose-built for a road course, with his only complaint being the visibility, but he states that you can see everything that a driver needs to see.
As the drive continues, Holland loves the exhaust system, but he states that it isn’t as exotic as the Mustang. Fortunately, that doesn’t stop it from pulling hard to redline and kicking the rear end out in the process. Also, while it might spin the tires on a hard pull, the magnetic ride control system leads to a smooth ride coupled with remarkable handling, with Holland calling it “more precise than the average American muscle car”.
ALSO SEE: Camaro SS 1LE vs. Mustang GT Performance Pack Comparison Review
He ends his time in the Camaro by calling it an easy choice for someone looking for a track car, as it comes with a track-friendly warranty.
During this first phase of the video, James Engelsman is in the Mustang GT PP2, which he calls “a sports car that you can actually see out of”, taking a shot at the Camaro. He explains that the Performance Pack 2 costs $6,500 more than the basic GT, adding Magneride suspension, Brembo 6-piston brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, but unlike the Camaro, the package doesn’t add any extra cooling components.
Engelsman complains that the clutch takes some time to learn, but he loves the high-revving nature of the 5.0-liter V8, winding all of the way up to 7,500 rpm with the active exhaust roaring. He loves the suspension setup, pointing out that it also couples comfort with handling, while the Michelin tires prove to be a key difference between the two. Later on, Engelsman states that this Mustang doesn’t feel like a “boaty American muscle car”, but while it feels predictable, it can get out of from you.
During the brief driver switch, the two hosts talk about the exterior design of each car, followed by climbing inside of each. They both have lots of good things to say about the Mustang while complaining about the darkness and lack of technology in the Camaro. Between this short session and the first on-road portion of the video, it definitely seems like they are leaning towards picking the Ford.
However, once Engelsman is in the Camaro SS 1LE, he praises the tighter steering and shifter, although he continues to gripe about visibility. While the interior is simpler, he states that the “Camaro grabs him”, as it is just as good as the Mustang in the corners even with the lesser rubber, proclaiming “what a car, what a car” during a stint of spirited driving. He closes his time in the 1LE by stating that he prefers it over the Mustang.
Finally, Holland hits the road in the Mustang and he instantly loves the sound, proclaiming that it is more of a beast than the Camaro. He goes on to praise the MagneRide suspension system and how well it combines comfort and handling, stating that it is “genuinely a driver’s car”, but he closes by stating that he prefers the Camaro SS 1LE as well.