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Not Their First Rodeo: Once More Into the Ponycar Breach
MotorTrend
December 2014
By: Jonny Lieberman


It is in fact like déjà vu all over again. This comparison test goes back decades -- literally. The world first saw the Ford Mustang in 1964. Chevrolet followed up Ford's ponycar lead with the Camaro in 1966, and Mopar mashed up A- and B-bodies to create the Dodge Challenger in 1969. The Mustang never went anywhere, but both the Camaro and the Challenger exited the bullring at some point, only to come roaring back in recent times.

Defining what exactly makes a ponycar is tricky, but you can boil it down to a few key attributes. One is they're blatantly American. Another is long-hood, short-deck styling suggesting a corral full of horsepower. Each of the cars in this test kicks out well over 400 hp. The last bit is that they're not pure sports cars -- they're sedan-based. The Challenger rides on Chrysler's LX platform; the Camaro's a cut-down Holden Commodore; and the all-new Mustang still contains traces of Lincoln LS, most notably the floorpan, which results in a high heel point.

Full article available at link.
 

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Another great showing by the 5th generation Camaro. The 6G is going to be a great car!
 

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I need a Camero SS, but then I look at the incredible value of the Z06, and think why not?

Then I think how bad I may speed in it, probably better I can't afford it now.
 

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I'm just going to come out and say it. The Mustang is a disappointment. In it's styling. In it's increased mass. Even with the Performance Pack, the current gen 1LE trounces it. It sounds like MT agrees with me.

For the sake of the Pony Car wars, I hope Ford quickens it's step on the Mustang, because when the 6th gen comes out, it ain't gonna be pretty for them.
 

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I can't believe how MT basically appologizes for the Mustang, telling the reader remember how bad the Camaro was when it first came out, they're sure the Mustang will get better. P L E A S E! Give me a break! Bias much? It's like they were praying the Mustang would trounce the Pig Camaro!!
 

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I'm just going to come out and say it. The Mustang is a disappointment. In it's styling. In it's increased mass. Even with the Performance Pack, the current gen 1LE trounces it. It sounds like MT agrees with me.

For the sake of the Pony Car wars, I hope Ford quickens it's step on the Mustang, because when the 6th gen comes out, it ain't gonna be pretty for them.
Ford's problem is that they haven't been investing in larger engines. Maybe a Boss will come but I don't know how much life is left in that old 5.0L V8. The 3.5EB is ok, but ultimately its not enough for this game. Their only hope is for the SVT can beat the Z/28 or ZL1. Ford may need an emergency refresh to fix some of the performance issues with the suspension
 

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Ford's problem is that they haven't been investing in larger engines. Maybe a Boss will come but I don't know how much life is left in that old 5.0L V8. The 3.5EB is ok, but ultimately its not enough for this game. Their only hope is for the SVT can beat the Z/28 or ZL1. Ford may need an emergency refresh to fix some of the performance issues with the suspension
It's not that. Its unfair to expect Ford or Dodge to compete with Chevrolet at this point. Most people are still caught up in the past. The current sports car reality is, Chevrolet and by extension Cadillac are at the top of their game. They are 'THE' performance powerhouse.

They are what Porche would have been in the early 2000's and what BMW was in the mid 1990's.. A lot of racing and technology transfer has gone into making the Camaro 1LE. HKS and Stevensons Chevrolet racing programs, feed directly into the street car, through engineering involvement. It shows.

The shocker for even people like SRT was when their new viper got taken down by an old ZR1. Or the new Jaguar cannot hope to take down the Stingray. When you see the staggering G's a Vsport can pull, that just goes to show who is boss.

at this point (in our history), when it comes to laying down a lap, Chevrolet is boss.
 

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Ford's problem is that they haven't been investing in larger engines. Maybe a Boss will come but I don't know how much life is left in that old 5.0L V8. The 3.5EB is ok, but ultimately its not enough for this game. Their only hope is for the SVT can beat the Z/28 or ZL1. Ford may need an emergency refresh to fix some of the performance issues with the suspension

When Ford chose smaller displacement DOHC and GM chose larger displacement, but simpler and more compact cam-in-block, they both made their beds. It's pretty obvious to me which one works better.
 

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Not makng excuses here, a sports package should have good tires.

I wonder if this is simply a case of incorrect tire choice for Mustang's Track Pack?
How much better would it handle with 1LE's better rubber?

surely someone will try this seemingly small but significant change.
Perhaps Mustang buyers should be pressing Ford to improve their package..

From previous articles, it's clear that Ford went on an evolutionary journey with this Mustang,
one change at the rear, forced another then another and I wonder if the weight increase
was a concession that Ford was forced to make to prepare the car to accept the even
higher power planned later in the cycle.

Perhaps one of the reasons the earlier IRS was scrubbed in the 2005 was because of the
needed changes elsewhere, not forgetting the balance of economics in play with this car.

Has Mustang now been "prepped" in steel for a switch later to Aluminum?
That could explain why Ford is not too concerned with weight for the moment..
 

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Not makng excuses here, a sports package should have good tires.

I wonder if this is simply a case of incorrect tire choice for Mustang's Track Pack?
How much better would it handle with 1LE's better rubber?

surely someone will try this seemingly small but significant change.
Perhaps Mustang buyers should be pressing Ford to improve their package..
Tires and dampers. Not to speak for Fords chassis engineers, but it seems obvious to me that they were going for a comfy ride on the Perf Pkg.
 

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Its unfair to expect Ford or Dodge to compete with Chevrolet at this point. Most people are still caught up in the past. The current sports car reality is, Chevrolet and by extension Cadillac are at the top of their game. They are 'THE' performance powerhouse.
That seems a little nuts. No offense. But clearly Ford or Dodge are competing. Just in this case the Camaro is a bit better.

The Challenger with the R/T Scat Pack was the fastest in a straight line and is running on the oldest most dated platform. It's arguably the best street car with best interior, and with the most room inside and trunk space. The handling isn't as good as the others but the ride might be more liveable for a daily driver. They called all three pony cars, which is fair enough but the Dodge is clearly a different animal then the others......And to a lot of people it's better for it.

Not taking anything away from Chevy but this car wasn't made to handle a race track like 1LE or Mustang.
 

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That seems a little nuts. No offense. But clearly Ford or Dodge are competing. Just in this case the Camaro is a bit better.

The Challenger with the R/T Scat Pack was the fastest in a straight line and is running on the oldest most dated platform. It's arguably the best street car with best interior, and with the most room inside and trunk space. The handling isn't as good as the others but the ride might be more liveable for a daily driver. They called all three pony cars, which is fair enough but the Dodge is clearly a different animal then the others......And to a lot of people it's better for it.

Not taking anything away from Chevy but this car wasn't made to handle a race track like 1LE or Mustang.
you are correct. The only place they are beat is laying down laps. That was the gist of my post. GM has focused on laying down the best laps. And its paying off.


When Ford chose in smaller displacement DOHC and GM chose larger displacement, but simpler and more compact cam-in-block, they both made their beds. It's pretty obvious to me which one works better.
"before beds were made" there were technical challenges to overcome. If you recall around 2000 to 2003, the conventional wisdom was, one cannot have VVT in a OHV pushrod motor.. therefore 'Vtec will never kick in Yo'.. in low tech GM applications.. Ford moved on, GM saw it as a technical challenge to overcome.. As they were overcoming these challenges, direct injection came in, and cam phasing and all sorts of more sophisticated VVT technologies came online..

fast forward,GM not only overcame those challenges, but patented their way through them, and thus locking other manufacturers out, along the way they went back to their old ideas like cylinder deactivation and revived them.. while perfecting them.

Now other brands royalists reviewing the corvette begrudgingly admit the high technology features available in new GM engines.
You even had Porsche and Ferrari ganging up against Corvette to prevent them from developing direct injection in their racing program.

The pay off is immense.
 

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I wonder if this is simply a case of incorrect tire choice for Mustang's Track Pack?
How much better would it handle with 1LE's better rubber?
I doubt that's the case. Pirelli P Zero is among the best performing max performance summer tires available, ranking right up there with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

What the new Mustang lacks is proper systems integration. This is something that afflicts many other (if not most) Ford products as well. Essentially, designing and engineering an automobile so that whole exceeds the sum of its parts. General Motors hit a home run with the Camaro SS 1LE by achieving just that.
 
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Ford's problem is that they haven't been investing in larger engines. Maybe a Boss will come but I don't know how much life is left in that old 5.0L V8. The 3.5EB is ok, but ultimately its not enough for this game. Their only hope is for the SVT can beat the Z/28 or ZL1. Ford may need an emergency refresh to fix some of the performance issues with the suspension
Dat flat plane crank doe...
 

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It's become clear to me that the Performance Pack is just not at the same performance level as the 1LE, although obviously superior in real-world comfort, as a result of tire and suspension tuning choices.

So, if you want a Mustang at the same performance level as the 1LE, you should get the regular GT, then upgrade to off-the-shelf suspension and tires.
 

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While I can appreciate the performance of the Challenger (and even the mustang), Speed is nothing without control. The Camaro is better at providing that control than the other two. I am sure the Mustang will improve, but right now it is still too rough to compete in this category. In a few years it will be closer race.
 

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I also find the change in tone of the press to be a bit strange... nothing but gushing praise for the outgoing car (live axle and all), and now venom for the redesigned version?

I think they're choosing the wrong cars to compare... why not a regular GT versus a regular SS?
 

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1LE did not come out the first year the new Camaro did. It took GM years to get the Camaro suspension right.

Yes the new Mustang is not the slay everything in its path car right now. I guess we will see how it matures. I did see a black one in the wild and will say it looks much better on the street than it does in pictures. The nice thing is, you cannot mistake it for anything other than a Mustang.

I will withhold judgement until I see how the car matures.
 

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GM needs to capitalize on this homerun of a 5th gen. As I said in another thread there needs to be a special launch edition right at the start of the 6th gen intro.
King Camaro
Wunder wauffa Camaro,
Launch edition
Launch edition beeyotch,
SStil Aint Challenged edition
Camaro ZL-Won
Camaro Whoops SS
Camaro SSorry
Camaro MUST be CHALLENGED
Camaro SS 1-ENV
Camaro MZ-WIT-MLE
 
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