By Emme Hall.
If you have an ounce of red, white, and blue American blood running through your veins, today’s Autocomparo is for you. We are going to take two of the most iconic American muscle cars, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS and the 2013 Ford Mustang GT Premium and see which one comes out on top. People will be offended. Proceed at your own risk.
The Camaro SS comes off the showroom floor with a 6.2L V8 that growls out 426 horsepower and 420 lb/ft of torque when outfitted with the manual transmission. Numbers are slightly less for the automatic, again proving my theory that the manual is always better. The SS gets to 60 mph from a dead stop in 5 seconds and all things considered, the EPA fuel ratings aren’t too shabby: 16 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined. However, like with most high powered vehicles, good luck getting that. You’ll definitely be tempted to hammer down each and every time the light turns green.
The 2SS comes standard with air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, Bluetooth, iPod integration, 20” alloy wheels, 8 way power seats, OnStar, a 9 speaker sound system with CD player, auxiliary audio jack, heated front seats, rear park assist, a rear view camera, a 7” touchscreen, and satellite radio. More importantly, the 2SS comes standard with sport tuned suspension and a limited slip rear differential. Optional is the 1LE package, which gives you racetrack inspired gearing, even more crisply tuned suspension, and better tires. A sunroof is also optional.
The Camaro 2SS is loud. It’s obnoxious. It’s glorious. Burn outs are easy and the exhaust note let’s everyone know, “I’ve got a Chevrolet Camaro and I’m not afraid to use it.” Sure, the car is pretty heavy, but steering is precise and the limited slip keeps it grippy in the corners. My only complaint is the sightlines. You do feel like you’re sitting in a bit of a tank and the shoulder line will all but engulf some smaller drivers. Still, for the price this is one bitchin’ Camaro.
The Mustang GT Premium comes with a smaller 5.0L V8 but manages to come close to the Camaro’s numbers with 420 horsepower and 390 lb/ft of torque. A standard six speed manual transmission with the 3.73 ratio gets the car moving to 60 mph at 4.7 seconds. EPA fuel ratings are a bit better than the Camaro’s, but again, good luck getting them. 18 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined could only be reached by someone who doesn’t have a pulse. It’s just too much fun to sprint off the line.
The Ford Mustang GT Premium comes standard with 18” alloy wheels, air conditioning, power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, a limited slip rear differential, and an 8 speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio, iPod integration, and leather upholstery. There is a GT Track option which includes upgraded Brembo brakes, a Torsen rear diff, and same radiator and oil cooler from the Boss 302. Other available packages include Comfort Group, Tech, and Electronics. Stand alone options include a rearview camera and the always worth it Recaro seats.
Like the SS, the Mustang is a joy to drive. It’s lighter than the SS and feels a bit more nimble through the twisties. Steering is crisp and responsive, torque is linear, and the exhaust note could wake the dead. Purists will love the Mustang live rear axle, which tends to upset the car if a bump is found mid-corner. Those who prefer a less, ahem, lively ride might want to wait for the future re-design, where gossip has the live rear axle being replaced by the more common independent rear suspension.
The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS can be yours starting at $36,135. The 2013 Ford Mustang GT Premium is a few bones more, at $39,750. My money is on the Mustang, and not just because this will be one of the last years to get the live axle. The car is lighter and thus does not need as much power to have the same amount of fun. Plus, I just like the look better. Chevrolet has a hunched over look that has veered away from the classic of the late 1960’s. Ford has done a better job of staying true to the look of the old, while making it perform like the new.