2015 Ford Mustang vs. 2014 Chevrolet Camaro

How Does Ford's New Pony Car Stack Up Against Its Archrival?


  • 2015 Ford Mustang

    2015 Ford Mustang

    2015 Ford Mustang. | December 05, 2013

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Now that the 2015 Ford Mustang has been revealed for all to see, the comparisons can begin. And when you're comparing the Mustang to its competition, there's only one true rival: the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro.

On the track or in the showrooms, the Mustang vs. Camaro fight has been going on for more than four decades now. There were times when it looked as if the battle would fizzle out in an emissions-choked standoff, but technology stepped in to save the day. The latest models now deliver more power, cleaner emissions and surprising efficiency.

But exactly how close do these iconic pony cars match up in their latest iterations? We crunched the numbers to find out.

The Mustang Creates a Category of Its Own
The Ford Mustang got things started with its introduction in 1964. It had modest roots in the Falcon sedan, but its styling made up for it. An optional 289-cubic-inch V8 with up to 271 horsepower helped its cause as well. The Mustang was an immediate hit, so much that Chevrolet knew it had to counter with a stylish, fun-to-drive coupe of its own.

The Chevrolet Camaro debuted just three years later using the same formula: sedan roots, a stylish design and optional V8 power. It was an instant hit as well and the race has been on ever since.

Over the years, the two cars remained popular even when oil embargoes choked their performance and consumer tastes shifted to larger vehicles. The Mustang has been a staple in Ford's lineup, receiving so many redesigns that the new 2015 model is the 10th-generation model depending on how you count.

The Camaro has largely kept pace even if it's only in its fifth generation. A short hiatus from 2002-'10 gave the Mustang the market to itself for a number of years, but renewed competition since 2010 has made the rivalry more intense than ever.

Essentially the Same Size
The latest Mustang was designed to appeal to more than just the American market. With that in mind, many expected a smaller size, but that didn't materialize. With an overall length of 188.3 inches and a wheelbase of 107.1 inches, the 2015 Mustang is roughly the same size as the previous model. It's still smaller than the Camaro, though, which measures 190.4 inches in length and stretches out over a 112.3-inch wheelbase.

In terms of width and height the two cars are as close as ever. The Mustang sits at 54.4 inches high and 75.4 inches wide, while the Camaro is 0.2 inch lower and 0.1 inch wider.

One important area where the Mustang has grown is between the rear wheels. An extra 3 inches of rear track width makes it nearly an inch wider at the rear than the Camaro, while the Mustang's front track is still well more than an inch narrower than the Camaro's.

Aluminum fenders were used to shave some weight off the Mustang this time around. Unfortunately, they don't offset weight gains elsewhere, as the 2015 Mustang is expected to weigh roughly 100 pounds more than the outgoing model. Official specs haven't been released yet, but that would still leave the Mustang GT about 200 pounds lighter than the Camaro SS.

Diverse Powertrains
We figured the new Mustang would stick with its traditional V6 and V8 engines, and sure enough, they're part of the package. The base 3.7-liter V6 has been detuned slightly, however, with projected ratings of 300 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. The 5.0-liter V8 is projected to deliver "more than" its current 420 hp thanks to a few minor upgrades.

Compared to the Camaro SS, the Mustang should be right on top of it. The current Camaro SS is rated at 426 hp, so don't be surprised if the 5.0-liter V8 delivers more than 430 horses to make sure it stays ahead.

Where the Camaro has an advantage is its V6. Rated at 323 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, it easily tops the Mustang's base engine. Ford knew that, of course, so it added one more option for the Mustang: a midrange 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Official horsepower figures haven't been released yet, but Ford estimates that the new four-cylinder will deliver at least 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. That would put the Mustang squarely above the base Camaro in terms of torque, not to mention the weight advantage of the small engine.

Both the Camaro and the Mustang offer six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, so in the war of gears, there is no victor.

Interiors Matter, Too
Possibly the Mustang's biggest advantage over the current Camaro is outward visibility unencumbered by styling compromises. Expect that advantage to continue into the new 'Stang, which has a more upright cabin thanks to A-pillars that are moved slightly rearward. It, too, should avoid the Camaro's "tank-slit" forward view.

The Mustang will forgo the current retro-style gauges in favor of instruments with a modern font. Both cars will offer tilt-and-telescoping steering wheels, though only the Mustang will come standard with keyless entry. The Mustang, however, will make adaptive cruise control available: a feature that isn't currently offered on the Camaro. Recaro seats will be a trim-level-dependent option on both cars.

The current Camaro's trunk aperture is small enough to inhibit carrying bulky items the trunk would otherwise easily accommodate, which can be a hassle. Though it's too early to know the 2015 Mustang's cargo capacity, expect wider rear haunches and lower liftover height to work to its advantage.

There is no clear winner here. The only fact that remains evident is that the Mustang vs. Camaro battle is as strong as ever — even if the latest strike comes from Ford.

Comments

  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    "The current Camaro SS is rated at 426 hp, so don't be surprised if the 5.0-liter V8 delivers more than 330 horses to make sure it stays ahead." "Where the Camaro has an advantage is its V6. Rated at 323 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, it easily tops the Mustang's base engine ... Official horsepower figures haven't been released yet, but Ford estimates that the new four-cylinder will deliver at least 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. That would put the Mustang squarely above the base Camaro in terms of both horsepower and torque, not to mention the weight advantage of the small engine." Would someone please proofread these articles before posting... or buy the writer a f*cking calculator?

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    "...Ford estimates that the new four-cylinder will deliver at least 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. That would put the Mustang squarely above the base Camaro in terms of both horsepower and torque..." I don't know about Southern California, but here in Chicago 323 horsepower > 305 horsepower

  • ajac03 ajac03 Posts:

    Am I the only one who thinks Ford needs to stop putting turbo 4's in EVERY damn vehicle? I can't wait until a few years down the line when these things start breaking down. It seems so wrong to put a 4 cylinder in a mustang, powerful or not.

  • It would have been nice if this article mentioned the Dodge Challenger. I realize that the Challenger lags behind the Mustang and Camaro (both great cars) in performance and handling (and sales), but it is still a good overall effort from Dodge. What it lacks in performance, it makes up for with roominess, a bigger more usable backseat and competitive pricing.

  • mybora mybora Posts:

    @engineer_mba: "What it lacks in performance, it makes up for with roominess, a bigger more usable backseat and competitive pricing." So does an Nissan Altima.

  • Everyone on here seems to have misread the article getting all bent out of shape that Ford's base engine is more powerful than Chevy's. The 2.3 is mid-level engine; the V6 is the base engine. Therefore, Chevy's base engine is more powerful than Ford's base engine. You want to win the pissing match? Then expect to pay more for the mid-level 2.3 4-cyl in the Ford versus the base level V6.

  • mybora - Last time I checked, the Nissan Altima was not available with a V-8 engine, manual transmission and rear wheel drive.

  • joefrompa joefrompa Posts:

    Was pretty excited to hear the Mustang is getting again a 2.3 liter turbocharged, intercooled 4-cylinder. In ~1983-1984, the there was a super rare Mustang SVO equipped with a 2.3 liter turbo engine. That engine continued on into the ford thunderbird "turbo coupe". I owned a 1988 thunderbird turbo coupe and that engine, despite being in a very heavy car, was just a ton of fun. This new 2.3 liter harkens back very nicely to that limited time in the 1980s when ford was cranking out one of the world's best 4-cylinder turbo engines - way ahead of it's time.

  • I remember the Mustang SVO from the early 1980s. In addition to the turbocharged 2.3 liter engine, it had its own unique styling which set it apart from other Mustangs. It looked beautiful and futuristic.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    I have no issues at all with the Mustang getting a turbo 4 as an option. It's not like we are talking about the wussy NA 2.3 that was available for years in the early Fox bodies. As long as Ford continues to offer a kick [non-permissible content removed] V8 I have no issues at all with it also offering a nice turbo 4 for the people that want one.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    "Where the Camaro has an advantage is its V6. Rated at 323 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, it easily tops the Mustang's base engine. Ford knew that, of course, so it added one more option for the Mustang: a midrange 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder." But the Camaro - even the base model - still weighs 200 lbs. more than the Mustang, so with V6s, the Mustang still has a better power-to-weight ratio. How is that an advantage for the Camaro? The current version V6 Mustang has 306 hp compared to 323 for the V6 Camaro...but the Mustang is still faster in every acceleration test that anyone's ever conducted. With the lightweight turbo 4 in the nose, giving great low-end torque accelerating out of corners, coupled with the new IRS, that version of the Mustang will be a great road-course car. The new 5.0 Coyote will make more hp than the SB in the Chevy, plus IRS. I don't think the Camaro will compare, model-for-model.

  • shriker66 shriker66 Posts:

    You guys are off on the weight comparo. Mustang GT/Boss weighs in around 3600-3650 and Camaro SS/1LE around 3850 .....only about 200lbs . IF Mustang gains 100lbs it will be only around 100lbs lighter than the Camaro.

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    Though the Camaro has more HP than the current Mustang, the 2013/14 Mustang has outperformed the Camaro in many head to head comparisons. My preference is the 2015 Mustang, because even without sitting in it yet, the current Camaro has poor visibility, and a very cheap interior. With IRS, the Mustang will further separate itself from the Camaro, and vastly separate itself from the Challenger. Since the Camaro tips the scales at over 4K lbs, I just do not see it performing as well as this 2015 Mustang. Again, I will have to test drive one when it finally arrives at the local dealer to make my final judgement.

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    @bankerdanny- Just because the stat sheet shows the Camaro has 323 HP and the Mustang has 305, doesn't necessarily mean it's quicker. The Camaro is over 4000 lbs, which is the reason why the base Camaro and SS can't beat the current live axle Mustang with

  • shriker66 shriker66 Posts:

    You guys are off on the weight comparo. Mustang GT/Boss weighs in around 3600-3650 and Camaro SS/1LE around 3850 .....only about 200lbs . IF Mustang gains 100lbs it will be only around 100lbs lighter than the Camaro.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    It wasn't that long ago that the Mustang had a V8 churning out a whopping 260-315 hp. If a turbo-four can meet or beat that, while delivering vastly superior fuel economy, then what does anyone have against that?

  • thedream32 thedream32 Posts:

    @ajoc03...yes..because anemic, underpowered, truck based 6 cylinder motors are SO much better. Oh wait, Ford did that in the 90s and 2000s and how did that work out for performance and the Mustang image? Do you forget that one of the hidden gems way bac

  • Well, it still sorta looks like a Mustang. And the technology of 4 cylinder engines has improved from 1974. I owned a Mustang that should not have existed, the 1974 Ford Mustang II with the four cylinder. The 1966 Mustang with a straight six was the second car that I drove in high school.

  • ajac03 ajac03 Posts:

    @thedream32 So how is a four cylinder any better? If their aim is fuel economy with performance, Ford hasn't been living up to that promise with virtually any of their vehicles (C-max, fusion etc). The mustang is a muscle car, and muscle cars just aren't

  • plindo plindo Posts:

    @ajac03, V6 and V8 engines carry heavy taxes in Europe, so since Ford has plans on selling the Mustang in Europe, the four cylinder is a MUST. Most of us here in North America will ignore the four cylinder, and Ford knows this, that is why we have options

  • garrym garrym Posts:

    My 79 mustang Cobra had the turbocharged 2.3 litre 4 cylinder and at the time was a good engine with the usual turbo lag and not so good fuel consumption. With the TRX suspension package the car was very enjoyable on the highway. By the time the engine was refined for the Thunderbird and later the SVO Mustang, it was much better. So I would expect in the 2015 Mustang 4 banger will be terrific with more torque and horsepower than the old powerplant.

  • ajac03 ajac03 Posts:

    @plindo Yeah I'll give you that. I just think Ford is going a little.. turbo crazy with all their vehicles.

  • joe_scuba joe_scuba Posts:

    The Fusion style front end on the Mustang sucks, was waiting for something really great what a let down

  • richard585 richard585 Posts:

    Why not compare all dimensions of the 2015 Mustang to all the dimensions of the 2014 Mustang....that would make real sense !

  • shatner shatner Posts:

    Was pretty excited to hear the Mustang is getting again a 2.3 liter turbocharged, intercooled 4-cylinder. In ~1983-1984, the there was a super rare Mustang SVO equipped with a 2.3 liter turbo engine. That engine continued on into the ford thunderbird "turbo coupe". I owned a 1988 thunderbird turbo coupe and that engine, despite being in a very heavy car, was just a ton of fun. This new 2.3 liter harkens back very nicely to that limited time in the 1980s when ford was cranking out one of the world's best 4-cylinder turbo engines - way ahead of it's time. _____________ That POS was 175 hp that came on only at the top end. Just a joke really, a few year later Honda would get 205 hp from a 1.8 liter without a turbo, and it was much smoother.

  • shatner shatner Posts:

    I used to like my Mustang 5.0 even though I knew it was a cheesy kids car. Of course I was 20, now I would not be caught dead in one.

  • shatner shatner Posts:

    I remember the Mustang SVO from the early 1980s. In addition to the turbocharged 2.3 liter engine, it had its own unique styling which set it apart from other Mustangs. It looked beautiful and futuristic. _______________ It would not get out of its own way until the turbo kicked in all at once. It was not reliable and cost much more than the 5.0.

  • The 2014 Camaro will have the same v8 as the Corvette, detuned to 450HP. Sticker rubber and a better tuned suspension, the Mustang will again be trailing.

  • surfwagon56 surfwagon56 Posts:

    Every other article that I've read (and it's a lot I must admit) has stated that the 2015 Mustang will be 200 pounds lighter than the 2014 model. For example, from TheMustangNews: While the final weight has not been published, the new Mustang is expected to come in at about 200 lbs lighter than before. One of the ways this was achieved was the increased use of aluminum. The hood as before is aluminum but this now extends to the front fenders. The rest of the body structure is stamped steel but has increased use of lighter and more expensive high-strength steels. Aluminum is used in some of the suspension components such as the control arms of the independent rear-suspension.

  • camarozone camarozone Posts:

    Why they mess around with these V6 and 4 bangers in what is a "muscle car" is only one reason. Sales ! Mine is 426hp and yes if they pump it more I will get it ! People that buy the downgrade model will always know that is exactly what it is !

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