What we have here is a proper, no-nonsense super test, comparing the best muscle cars Detroit has ever made. Motor Trend’s editor Angus MacKenzie takes the Camaro ZL1 and the Shelby GT500 first to the Mulholland Highway to see how they work as cars for the real world. Then he heads to Laguna Seca and hands over the cars to a professional racing driver to put them through their paces, and finally they pit the cars against each other in a quarter mile drag race.
The winner of this head to head test is the Camaro ZL1 for a couple of good reasons. First, the Camaro has better brakes, which makes it the better track car despite the fact that it has 80 horsepower less than the big Ford. Second, the ZL1 is a better car to live with and to drive everyday, mainly because it’s more sophisticated – the Shelby has live rear axle for heaven’s sake. Third, the Camaro is just a nicer, more complete package than the Shelby. The Ford does one or two things brilliantly, but the Camaro does everything brilliantly.
Regardless of the results though, it’s a cause for celebration that in this day and age of fuel economy and emission control, muscle cars are more powerful than ever!