2011 Chevrolet CamaroEnlarge Photo
2011 Ford MustangEnlarge Photo
That rivalry just heated up a lot more this year, with the introduction of new engines in the 2011 Ford Mustang. The base 2011 Mustang gets a modern 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine that closely rivals the 2011 Camaro's 312-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 (yes, it was rated at 304 hp, but Chevrolet 'found' an extra few hp and re-rated it after the Mustang's specs were out).
Altogether, either of these base pony cars are no longer the domain of mulleted poseurs or secretaries, and you'd be fortunate to encounter either of them in a rental fleet. In V-6 form, the Mustang and Camaro are now as powerful as their V-8 variants a decade or so ago—now rated at around are now rated at around the same power—both over 300 horsepower, and they both have more than enough handling prowess to make the most of it. That even holds true for the 2011 Ford Mustang, which maintains a live-axle setup in back; yet over most roads, you'd never know it.
Consumer Reports isn't known for churning out a lot of hot-blooded, tire-smoking enthusiast video, but a new post on muscle cars—showing footage of a couple of CR's test engineers really putting these coupes through the paces on a road course—should be enough to interest even weekend racers
CR likes the Camaro's looks but says that it wins on the track. In addition to the Mustang's track domination, they take it practical, adding that the Mustang has better visibility, better shifter, much better steering feel, and even better fuel economy.
"So all that together makes the Mustang a much easier car to live with," said automotive engineer Jake Fisher.
Consumer Reports says that while the Camaro might have more impressive specs, "the ostensibly cruder Mustang delivers on a level that surpasses the sum of its parts."