A year later, it’s not looking good for the Mustang faithful. Not only did Camaro sales increase in 2011, but Mustang sales fell from 2010 levels, widening the gap. Last year, Americans bought 88,249 Camaros, but just 70,438 Mustangs.
After nearly five decades of competition (excluding the seven years that the Camaro was off the market, of course), why is the Camaro pulling ahead in sales while the venerable Ford Mustang is struggling? Could it be that the Camaro’s styling is still seen as fresh, while the Mustang’s, which dates back to 2005 in current form, is getting old?
It’s probably not outright performance, since the nod generally goes to both the V-6 and V-8 Mustangs in stock form. Yes the V-6 Camaro puts out 323 horsepower versus the Mustang’s 305, but the Camaro is carrying around over 300 pounds more than the Mustang. It feels like a bigger car, too.
Step up to the V-8 models, and it’s more of the same. The Camaro gets 426 horsepower if you opt for the six-speed manual, but gets neutered to 400 horsepower if you opt for the automatic transmission. The Mustang only delivers 412 horsepower with either gearbox, but weighs over 250 pounds less.