2010 Ford Mustang VS 2010 Chevy Camaro: The Breakdown

 
 
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Sports car aficionados know it just got more interesting with the 2010 Ford Mustang versus 2010 Chevrolet Camaro showdown. Both cars have ardent followings, and both have been automotive icons and erstwhile competitors for years. In fact, mention "muscle car" and the immediate nameplates and models that come to mind are Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. But which is best for this model year? Let's examine the facts before drawing any conclusions.

Powertrains Plus Performance

In the pony war category, it's all about power. The more you have, the better you show. At least, that's the theory, and has been for decades. True to form, the rear-wheel drive 2010 Ford Mustang and 2010 Chevrolet Camaro don't disappoint. Both have their base V6 models as well as their more powerful V8-charged versions. Here's where it gets interesting.


Automotive critics contend that the base Mustang 210-hp 4.0-liter V6 engine is slightly anemic compared to the base Camaro's 300-hp 3.6-liter direct injected V6. Add to that the 'stang's 240 pound-feet of torque versus the base Camaro's 273 pound-feet of torque and the clear winner again turns out to be Camaro. But don't get too far ahead of yourself. With a lower curb weight, the base Mustang actually handles itself quite admirably which translates into more maneuverability and a fun-to-drive muscle car.

Step up to the Bullitt-enhanced (in other words, parts borrowed from the parts bin of the now-discontinued Mustang Bullitt) 2010 Mustang GT and the power quotient jumps exponentially. Powered by a 315-hp 4.6-liter V8 engine and delivering 325 pound-feet of torque (335 pound-feet on premium gasoline), GT delivers acceleration from zero to 60 mph times in the low 5-seconds. Compare that to the V8-powered 2010 SS Camaro's 426-hp 6.2-liter V8 and 420 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph is a flat 5 seconds.

Mustang for 2010 is equipped with a standard five-speed manual transmission, while a five-speed automatic is optional. The 2010 Camaro, on the other hand, offers a choice between a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with manual shift control.

Camaro's independent rear suspension gets the high-fives over the Mustang's non-independent rear suspension.

Fuel economy mileage estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are fairly comparable for both models of Mustang and Camaro, but with a slight edge to Camaro. The V6-powered Mustang achieves an estimated EPA fuel economy of 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway. With the manual transmission, the numbers are 18/26. In comparison, the V6 Camaro gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/29 mpg highway (17 mpg/city for the manual). Looking to the V8-powered models, Mustang's GT gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway (17/23 for the manual). The V8-powered Camaro SS rates EPA fuel economy numbers of 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway (24 mpg/highway with manual).

Engine Specs - Mustang V6

Engine Type: 4.0-liter SOHC 12V V6

Engine Electronics: EEV-V

Displacement: 4.0-liter (245 cu. in.)

Horsepower (SAE-net @ rpm): 210 @ 5300

Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 240 @ 3500

Compression Ratio: 9.7:1

Bore and Stroke (in.): 3.95 x 3.32

Fuel Delivery: Sequential Multi-port Electronic Fuel Injection

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded regular

Exhaust: Single, stainless steel

Fuel Economy: 18 city/26 hwy with manual, 16 city/24 hwy with automatic

Transmission Type: T5 5-speed manual (standard), 5-speed automatic (optional)

Engine Block Material: Cast iron

Cylinder Head Material: Cast aluminum

Engine Specs - Mustang GT

Engine Type: 4.6-liter SOHC 24V V8

Engine Electronics: EEV-V

Displacement: 4.6-liter (281 cu. in.)

Horsepower (SAE-net @ rpm): 315 @ 6000

Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 325 @ 4250

Compression Ratio: 9.8:1

Bore and Stroke (in.): 3.55 x 3.54

Fuel Delivery: Sequential Multi-port Electronic Fuel Injection

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded regular

Exhaust: Single, stainless steel

Fuel Economy: 16 city/24 hwy with manual, 17 city/23 hwy with automatic

Transmission Type: TR3650 5-speed manual (standard), 5-speed automatic (optional)

Engine Block Material: Aluminum

Cylinder Head Material: Cast aluminum

Engine Specs - V6 Camaro

Engine Type: 3.6-liter direct-injected, variable valve transmission (VVT) V6

Engine Electronics: DI-VVT

Displacement: 3.6-liter (220 cu. in.)

Horsepower (SAE-net @ rpm): 304 @ 6400

Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 273 @ 5200

Compression Ratio: 11.3:1

Bore and Stroke (in.): 3.70 x 3.37

Fuel Delivery: direct, high-pressure fuel injection

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded regular

Exhaust: Single, stainless steel

Fuel Economy: 17 city/29 hwy with manual, 18 city/29 hwy with automatic

Transmission Type: 6-speed manual (standard), 7-speed automatic (optional)

Engine Block Material: Cast aluminum with cast-iron-in-place iron bore liners

Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum

Engine Specs - V8 Camaro SS

Engine Type: 6.2-liter V8 (LS3, L99)

Engine Electronics: SFI

Displacement: 6.2-liter (378 cu. in.)

Horsepower (SAE-net @ rpm): 422 @ 5000 (LS3), 400 @ 5000 L99)

Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 408 @ 4500 (LS3), 395 @4500 (L99)

Compression Ratio: 10.7:1

Bore and Stroke (in.): 4.06 x 3.62

Fuel Delivery: Returnless, multi-port fuel injection

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Exhaust: Dual, stainless steel with polished stainless steel tips

Fuel Economy: 16 city/24 hwy with manual, 16 city/25 hwy with automatic

Transmission Type: 6-speed manual (standard), 6-speed automatic (optional)

Engine Block Material: Cast aluminum with cast-iron-in-place iron bore liners

Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum

What's New: Styling

Camaro gets the edge here, being an all-new design, albeit with distinct retro touches like square-gauge hoods and available four-pack of auxiliary gauges.

But Ford doesn't let Mustang suffer too much as both the V6 and V8 2010 Mustangs benefit from brand-new, sculptured front end designs that are unique to each model. Ford says the headlamps and turn indicators, integrated into one unit, are inspired by the 1970 Mustang. Exterior sheet metal, except for the fast-back roofline, is all new as well. Interior improvements include technology and comfort items, as well as upgraded instrument panel, and new center stack design with the latest version of Ford SYNC.  

Bottom Line - Who's the Winner?

For spirited driving performance, especially with optional Track-Pack, for the money, you can't beat the 2010 Ford Mustang GT. But the comparison with 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS is no contest - with Camaro coming out the overall winner in terms of big power, grip on the road and refined suspension tuning.

Which driver are you? Are you an enthusiast who craves V8 power and all that goes with it, or a driver who wants the looks, but whose tire-squealing days are long past? Answer these questions, test drive both V6 and V8 Mustangs and Camaros, and you'll have your own top pick in the 2010 Ford Mustang versus 2010 Chevrolet Camaro muscle car showdown.


 
 
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