Price Wars: Ford Pits Brawnier Four-cylinder Mustang Against Chevrolet’s Bargain V8 Camaro

A new addition to the Ford Mustang lineup arrives this fall, just in time to do battle with a new addition to Chevrolet’s Camaro stable. As sales falter, the pony car wars are heating up. However, while these two steeds do not differ greatly in price, their means of motivation are quite dissimilar.

Now that pricing has been revealed for the 2020 Mustang High Performance Package, we can contrast it with the equally new Camaro LT1 — a bargain V8 model slotted below the SS. It’s four cylinders versus eight.

Ticking the box for the High Performance Package elevates the Mustang above the entry-level EcoBoost model, but it doesn’t quite reach GT levels. It does in some regards, though. The package adds a larger twin-scroll turbo and other alterations to a 2.3-liter EcoBoost borrowed from the now-defunct Focus RS then bundles it together with 13.9-inch front brake rotors and 255/40 R19 rubber sourced from the GT Performance Package. A tuned exhaust, rejigged suspension, and GT Performance Package aero add-ons complete the package.

Output is 330 horsepower, some 20 ponies more than the standard EcoBoost, with an identical torque figure: 350 lb-ft.

As CarsDirect reports, order guides show the package costing $4,995, with a Ford spokesperson confirming the price. This places the MSRP for a 2020 Mustang EcoBoost coupe with High Performance Package at $32,760 after delivery. Should buyers choose, they can boost the model’s prowess (and slightly surpass the price of a Mustang GT) by adding the Handling Package. The upgrade, which requires an equipment package, pushes the model to $36,755. A 10-speed automatic will cost you more.

Compared to this, Chevy’s Camaro LT1 borrows the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 found in the SS, sending 455 hp and 455 lb-ft to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual for an after-delivery price of $34,995. That’s three grand less than an SS, but just over two grand more than a Mustang High Performance Package (you can call the car that — there’ll be badging). Of course, adding the Handling Package will see the Stang’s price leapfrog the Camaro’s by nearly two grand.

Levels of content between the two differ, of course, and in many cases this will be the deciding factor for those not afflicted with Ford vs. GM Syndrome.

Both models go on sale this fall, with the rival automakers attempting to stimulate sales by giving buyers what they want: more power. In Chevy’s case, the strategy is more power for less cost. If boosted four-bangers aren’t your bag, GM wins in the eight-cylinder field, at least in terms of price. Unfortunately for the General, the base Camaro’s turbo four pales next to the entry-level EcoBoost, delivering the slightly more expensive Ford a win on the bottom rung.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC