2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Vs. 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: A Look Ahead

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It's the classic Ford Mustang vs. Chevrolet Camaro battle, only this time it's supercharged. With heavily breathed-upon factory versions of these muscle cars now or soon available, with massive amounts of power, it's high time we had a debate.

In one corner we have the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Packing a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8, the snake puts out 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual channels the power to the solid rear axle. With a price of only $54,200, the 2013 GT500 is set to kill.

In the other corner we have the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Under the hood is a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 producing 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque. While the Camaro ZL1 has a six-speed manual transmission, it also offers an optional six-speed automatic transmission. That's a key feature the GT500 doesn't offer. The 2012 Camaro ZL1 is priced near the GT500 at $54,995.

At the end of the day, both of these muscle cars now reach supercar levels of power. With handling beyond many people's wildest dreams, we wonder how this battle in the musclecar wars will play out. As soon as we drive them back to back, we'll let you know--but watch the our video debate now and let us know in the comments which muscle car you think is clear winner.

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Comments (39)
  1. (Must we REALLY have to watch a commercial before watching videos??)

    Anyway, the Mustang is better built (easily provable) and costs more because of this... simple.
    The sightlines and weight of the Camaro are abysmal (I've driven it) but I do like the Camaro and it's suspension.... I just like the Mustang more.
    The history and legend of the Mustang far outweigh what I believe to be a flash-in-the-pan for the Camaro.
    The 2015 (2014 release date) Mustang will modernize the suspension, especially the rear end, and will bring the Mustang back on top in sales.
    I love the looks of the Camaro from all angles except the rear, which looks fat and dumpy.
    The Mustang looks good from every angle but just needs some more extreme styling cues.

  2. youve driven the zl1? how many have been sold? one, and that person had to return it. how is it easily provable that ford makes better quality?

  3. It was kinda funny that you said that only 1 has been sold, and that person had to return it. So I guess 100% of the ZL1's that have been sold have had problems? :)

    I'm kidding... maybe

    But seriously, I said Mustang vs Camaro and made no mention of the ZL1, as you have.

    I was basing my better quality remark on FORD in general, not just the Mustang. I should have been more clear.

  4. just another insucure ford fan

  5. I'm "insucure" ??? LOL

    I could say something like, "just another unintelligent chevy fan"... but I won't.

  6. i driven one because i own one.Second owner in california

  7. get a life

  8. yes you do have to pay for quality that's why all of those are options pay for quality. next time guys please be a little more prepare when doing the debate.

  9. HE SPECIFICALLY said that the Camaro is a better car right out of the factory.. and that it'll be 15K less exspensive therefore its more affordable.


  11. "That's a key feature the GT500 doesn't offer" Really? An auto transmission on muscle car is a "key feature"? If you want to get a GT500 and want an auto transmission then you do not deserve to buy that car. Auto transmissions are for people who are afraid to drive their car....

  12. its not auto its 6 speed paddle shifts

  13. I have an auto-transmission in my Audi R8.. does that mean i'm afraid to drive it? No! think before you say something un-intelligent

  14. all he was trying to say was if your going to buy a piece of machinery like the mustang or camaro, only an idiot is going to want an auto

  15. Come on! There have been automatics in Indy 500 race cars. I don't call those drivers idiots!

  16. A LOT of classic muscle cars have autos. next time you are at a car night take a look.

  17. Back in the day a well built T400 would cream a manual in a quarter mile just on consistency alone, but I still prefer to stir the gears myself and would never by a rod or muscle car with an auto simply because, in my opinion, no auto match the sound of rapping the throttle and downshifting a tightly wound mill.

  18. seriously, mustang better looking????????????? wtf are you talking about ppl? mustang rounded front that looks like a pimple ready to burst. c'mon let's be realistic.

  19. thank you

  20. Both cars look unique.I bought both of them. I'll tell y'all the details when i race them and test them out myself

  21. I'm pretty sure that I could spend the same amount of money on a Factory Five Gtm and kill them both.

  22. You people are biased as hell. . . The Stang is one hell of a car, both look wise and performance wise. . Considering, Car and Driver had it running 11.6-11.7 ALL DAY, without the better gearing, and stickier tires that will come on the production car. And for all of you children crying over the price. . You simply prove to everyone you have nowhere near enough money to purchase one of these cars, which is why you complain of the price. So let's stay to our opinions shall we? And not bust another person for having a different view, because an opinion is neither right or wrong, because we all have them. As far as stats speak, from the stats released so far. . The GT500 is superior to the ZL1.

  23. Stats are only superior to the straight track so far. And since Ford said the Boss is the better handling car than the Shelby, i doubt the shelby will beat the ZL1 on a coarse. Just my opinion

  24. Hmmm considering the Camaro out weighs the Shelby and is underpowered to handle the weight, The Shelby out of the box already weighs less so in turn better cornering. Oh and you guys remember the '03 Cobra? yeah thats what happens when Ford gets serious, and they are serious again the Zl1 is going to be sent home crying it self to sleep.

  25. why does everyone have to argue about this. who the hell cares which car is better, if you dont like it dont buy it. its that simple. Both are beautiful cars and you cant say that if either one drove by that you would turn your head and look with awh. Get over yourselfs guys

  26. I agree with Bill. Bigger picture... Foreign car companies have never been able to replicate the look and feel of a domestic muscle car. They would argue that their technology is far superior, but they don't get the thrill of tire spin (when desired), drift, or the growl from the pipes. I'm still happy with my 02' WS-6; original LS-1, a fabricated single stage intercooler (30mpg hwy@60mph), racing cam, and 20 lbs of boost upgrade on the way for my modified pro-charger. That will at least keep up with either of these models and I've kept the thing in pristine shape. But lets agree that at least the USA does muscle cars right and be glad they are still around in this economy.

  27. So, here we are comparing a real 2012 ZL1 to a prototype 2013 GT500? A car that doesn't even exist yet? Let's wait and compare both 2013's when they are available. Or, how about comparing the 2013 GT500 to a 2014 ZL1? For $55000 I can build 3 Chevy's that run in the 9's.

  28. You could do it cheaper if you use a Big Block Ford in it!!!

  29. Hey bob, why don't you take a look at technician Kline's post.
    enough said

  30. The GT500 is not a prototype now with 662hp...

  31. Also, guys from high gear, remember that the camaro outweighs the mustang by a f***ton

  32. they're both cool cars but I think the muzzy is the better choice

  33. GM run by idiots. If they wouldve kept immproving the GTO, it would (and in some cases still will) blow both away.

    My very first was a 1977 302 boss, now drive a 6.2L G8. Love both. Mustang will stay on top for long time.

  34. Camaro ZL1 offers six-speed automatic transmission - optional))

  35. The Ford company has made an incredibly powerful, amazing vehicle. But IMO the thing that separates the two ponies from each other is the superior electronics in the Camaro. Electronics is as much a part of modern muscle cars as anything nowadays. Despite the curb weight difference (which is NOT a "ton") as expressed by some folks, the Camaro still beats the Mustang hands down. I'm awaiting my issue of Car and Driver/Motortrend to prove me wrong. GM has yet to be knocked off of the Pony throne, but Ford is coming increasingly closer.

  36. Both GM and Ford should be commended for such incredible machines which incorporate technology while never losing sight of producing a muscle car by today's standards. We should embrace these cars and be fortunate enough that they are even being built!

  37. Y does crappy ford always put there newer stuff against chevys older stuff?? maybe cause ford sucks!!!!

  38. The gt500 is better in every way. the gt500 certainly looks better plus it has more horsepower and torque. i would choose the mustang over the camaro any day.

  39. if you have the car set up right and you have the right driver the ford mustang would win the race ford has the number 1 trucks and cars.

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