It's almost a given that modern cars from the major carmakers will be built and designed to achieve maximal crash safety ratings - especially brand-leaders like the new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, right? Well, not quite, it seems, as the new muscle car has managed just 4 of 5 stars thanks to below-expected frontal impact scores.

Side and rollover testing still secured 5-star ratings, but the car's front impact 4-star rating dragged down the overall result. Copmared to the Camaro's main rival, the 2010 Ford Mustang, that's a major blow, as the Blue Oval product secured five stars in all tests.

Comparing the numbers tells an even darker story for the Camaro, as the Mustang scored 457 head injury criterion for the driver and 379 for the passenger, versus 661 and 626 respectively for the Camaro. Chest deceleration figures were equally biased against the Camaro, which scored 53 g for the driver and 49 g for the passenger against the Mustang's much less strenuous 34 g and 40 g chest loads.

Finally, the Camaro placed a load of 908 lb and 866 lb on the driver's left and right legs, compared to 478 lb and 551 lb for the Mustang's driver. Those figures reflect pretty intuitively just how much more severe the same impact would feel in the Camaro.

Click through to the government's Safercar site below to see video of the Camaro's crash testing for yourself.

[ via Jalopnik]