Camaro Chief Engineer: Camaro ZL1 To Be Faster Than Mustang Shelby GT500

“We’ve done simulations. We predict that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60 than the [2013] GT500… We ran the Nürburgring and released a time. Ford took the GT500, too, and never released a time. I guess you can draw your own conclusions.” Those are the words of Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser.

When asked if the ZL1 is quicker around the Nurburgring than the 2013 GT500, Mr. Oppenheiser replied: “No question.”

The Motrolix Take

Let’s get the facts out of the way, shall we? The Camaro ZL1 weighs a hefty 4,120 pounds and makes 580 horses and 556 pound-feet of torque, while the 2013 Shelby GT500 tips the scales at 3,850 pounds and cranks out a massive 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of twist. That’s 70 horses and 30 pound-feet more and 270 pounds less.

So how can a heavier vehicle with less power be faster than a lighter one with more ponies and twist? Yeah, we’re left scratching our heads at this one. Ultimately, there are only two sensible explanations to Mr. Oppenheiser’s claims:

  1. The 2013 GT500 has issues putting all that power to the ground in an effective manner. Let’s not forget that the 2008 GT500 had problems doing just that when its rear end “hopped” up and down under full throttle.
  2. Chevy had a better driver piloting the ZL1 around the Nürburgring than did Ford and its GT500.

Ultimately, there’s only one way to settle this: put the two cars side-by-side at the drag strip and then ship ’em over to Nurburg for some laps at the hands of professionals. Although it does make us wonder why The Blue Oval wouldn’t release the GT500’s time around the ‘Ring. Until then, it may be a good idea to take this with a grain ton of salt.

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.


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