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2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang VS 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE SS: Tale of the Tape

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE SS is being billed as the GM muscle car which will knock out the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang and while only some of the preliminary performance numbers for the new 1LE have been announced, I have compiled a list of vitals on each of these two muscle cars to see which car has the advantage on paper.

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While the muscle car community has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 6th gen Camaro Z28 to go head-to-head with the Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang, General Motors officials have been quick to label the 2017 Camaro 1LE SS as a proper competitor for the non-R Shelby GT350 Mustang. Considering that the new Shelby GT350 and GT350R are the top of the line Mustangs, it seems like an odd choice for GM to compare a higher volume, lower price version of the Camaro to these premium Ford performance cars, but when you look at the two cars on a line-by-line basis – it looks like the Camaro 1LE SS could be a tough competitor for the Shelby GT350 Mustang.

Today, based on the few numbers announced by General Motors pertaining to the new Camaro 1LE SS, we bring you the tale of the tape for these two track terrors.

Camaro 1LE VS GT350 Mustang Drivetrain
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE SS is powered by GM’s 6.2L LT1 V8, sending 455 horsepower and 455lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. The 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang is powered by a 5.2L flat plane V8, sending 526 horsepower and 429lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, also via a 6-speed manual transmission.

The Mustang has an advantage of 71 horsepower while the Camaro has an advantage of 26lb-ft of torque.

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More importantly, even though the Camaro 1LE SS is lighter than the GT350 – with the Chevy weighing 3,654lbs to the Ford’s 3,760lbs - the Mustang has an advantage in power to weight ratio, with Ford’s ratio of 7.1lbs per horsepower besting Chevy’s 8lbs per horsepower.

Suspension, Braking and Tires
Both the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE SS and the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang feature their own magnetic suspension systems, so there is no clear leader there on paper, but based on real world numbers and GM’s estimates, the Camaro will have a slight advantage. Multiple outlets who have tested the GT350 Mustang have been able to achieve 1.00g on the skidpad, but GM claims that the Camaro will be able to sustain 1.02g. This means that the Camaro might have a very faint advantage in cornering, but the Ford has an advantage in terms of braking components.

The Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang has a high tech Brembo braking system with 15.5 inch floating rotors under 6-piston calipers and while the Chevrolet Camaro 1LE SS has a Brembo 6-piston front braking setup, it isn’t quite as big or quite as high tech as the Mustang. The Camaro’s front rotors measure 14.6 inches and while they are a two piece design, they don’t have the floating pin design found on the Mustang. Based on that, the Mustang should have the advantage in braking during long periods of track time, but based on the stated numbers, we know that the Mustang will out-stop the Camaro.

Real world tests have shown that the Shelby GT350 Mustang will get stopped from 60mph in 102 feet, while the official figures from GM state that the Camaro 1LE SS takes 107 feet to perform the same task.

Part of that stopping advantage might have something to do with the tires, as the two cars have different tires in different sizes. The Camaro 1LE SS has lightweight 20 inch rims wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires measuring 285/30/20 up front and 305/30/20 out back. The Shelby GT350 Mustang has 19 inch rims wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 295/35/19 up front and 305/35/19 out back. The bigger front tires on the Mustang give it more contact surface, so that could play part of the role in the Shelby having the stopping advantage.

Those big tires also play an obvious role in acceleration times, and while the Mustang has more power and a better power to weight ratio, it appears as though the Camaro will hang right with the Shelby GT350 in a short sprint. Most outlets have found that the GT350 Mustang will scoot out from a stop to 60mph in just 4.1 seconds while GM claims that the Camaro 1LE SS will get to 60 from a stop in just 4.2 seconds. With the advantage in power to weight ratio, that 0.1 second advantage could be even bigger in a longer race – such as a quarter mile drag race – but we will have to wait for more numbers from GM to know just how quickly the Camaro 1LE will get down the track. Based on the fact that both the Camaro SS (non-1LE) and the GT350 Mustang both run mid 12 second quarter miles, the battle between the 1LE and GT350 on a drag strip is going to be a driver’s race.

Of course, I have to point out that while we are discussing 0-60 times and quarter mile times, the new Camaro 1LE SS and the Shelby GT350 Mustang aren’t built to be straight-line rockets. These two muscle cars are designed to tear up tracks with turns. The Mustang should have an afvantage getting into the turns with better braking capabilities and getting out of the turns with better power numbers, while the power to weight advantage should make the GT350 quicker on the straights. At the same time, the lighter Camaro can pull more Gs, so it should be the quicker of the two through the turns.

Camaro has a Huge Price Advantage
While many of the comparisons above between the Camaro 1LE SS and the Shelby GT350 Mustang are very close (with the exception of horsepower), the price of these two cars is vastly different. The 1LE package is a $6,500 option for the Camaro 1SS and with the 2017 pricing hitting the website, we know that the 1LE SS should have an MSRP right around $44,400.

The 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang has an MSRP of $56,495, so while the Mustang is accelerates quicker and has more power, it also costs $12,095 more. For far less than $12k, a Camaro 1LE owner could buy better tires and a tune, which would improve the handling, braking and acceleration of the svelte Chevy – which would more than eliminate any advantage for the Mustang. In other words, if you are shopping for a weekend track car in the muscle car segment, the Camaro 1LE SS offers very similar performance figures to the Mustang Shelby GT350 with a considerably smaller price.

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Mark (not verified)    August 31, 2016 - 9:42PM

You (and every single editor) quotes the GT350 MSRP at $56,495, but the reality is that no regular Joe with cash in hand can buy this for anything near that. Last year, the average dealer markup on the GT350 was from $7500 to $15000!!! I know because I called over 30 dealers in 4 states and went to 5 local dealers in the Chicagoland area looking for any kind of a deal because I was crazy about the car and followed it's development for nearly two years. I was ready to buy it if the dealer markup was just less than $2500. No dice. Out of principle because of the markup I didn't buy it. Whereas the Camaro 1LE won't have this markup. So in reality, you have a car that is going to be a nearly equal competitor to the GT350 at a realistic $15k price difference! That's kind of an elephant in the room. I wish more people that wrote about the price of cars would include the average dealer markup, or something similar that better reflects a real-world price.

Steve Evans (not verified)    September 1, 2016 - 5:26PM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

In 4 years the value difference will be apparent in the Ford product versus a general product so if you can float the cash, it will come back if you take care of the car.

Eric Guadiana (not verified)    February 12, 2017 - 9:22PM

In reply to by Steve Evans (not verified)

Really .... Gotta remember GM doesn't limit production so that there is no choice but to up the price due to supply and demand ... = inflation .... The new ford gt for 400k is ridiculous . I would take a lambo aventador anyday over a ford product for that price ... Ford isn't that supreme they just have history which is awful starting with there fouunder.... Ford isn't supreme quality ... Its funny I read that the CEO of ford motor Co he said out of panic from loss of sales quarterly ... Mercedes Benz bow has a line up with the price of our fords .... Why buy a ford when you can buy a nerve's Benz for the seems price ... I wouldn't buy a ford if Mercedes matched quote from ford motor Co CEO

Jason Scism (not verified)    November 25, 2023 - 9:08AM

In reply to by Steve Evans (not verified)

This has held true for both cars. I can sell my 2021 2SS 1LE with 31k miles right now for $46K. I have actually ran an add to sell it and had multiple people who wanted to buy it immediately. The car stickers for 51K. It has held it's value even better than the shelby 350 which was always overpriced. The Camaro SS 1le is hands down the better deal and it ain't close.

D.kelley (not verified)    May 21, 2017 - 11:06AM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

Well takin delivery on 29 may of 2017 electronics pkg,61000,out the door.stick that in your pipe and smoke oi.go to mustang6g,there's a thread with gt350 dealer hookups,if your serious or just

Jason (not verified)    June 4, 2017 - 7:47PM

In reply to by D.kelley (not verified)

Is that a 2017 GT350 or a 2016 electronics pkg. Big difference... try a track day with the 2016 elec package and you will be rewarded with sub par performance as it goes into LIMP MODE. If you got the track coolers as standard, good on you. That 61k is a great deal! Cheers

Robert (not verified)    September 1, 2016 - 8:11AM

Mark--the decision to pay the GT350 markup is obviously a personal one. I paid a markup (less than the low end of the range you cite) because I WANTED the car. Chevy's problem with the Camaro (and I'm a previous Camaro owner) is that the car just doesn't carry the same cachet with its buyers or potential buyers that the Mustang does. I am a recent Mustang convert. The sales numbers basically prove that GM has problems with the Camaro. While they continue to attempt to make things better using various platforms from some of their other vehicles, it begs the question: Why buy a Camaro when I could buy a Corvette or Cadillac and get some of the very features that the bloated (although it has trimmed a couple of pounds for the new build) and difficult to see out of Camaro (a long term problem that I remember when I owned one)? They have to make the Camaro price more competitive--not just with Ford but with its own internal competition. If this new generation doesn't do better than the past, I think the Camaro may once again face the possibility of extinction. As for the real-world price, you are correct; however, the car is worth what people are willing to pay for it. I don't regret paying the premium, but I, too, had a limit on what I was willing to pay.

Chuck (not verified)    September 1, 2016 - 8:19AM

With the 2017 Camaro you get engine that will be available in GM 1500 series trucks/vans. With the GT350 you get a Ferrari/Maclaren type racing engine reving over 8200rpm an FPC sound that is only made for that car. Also down the road in 5yrs you will have a Shelby with three times the re-sale value than a Camaro.............

David Barnard (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 1:53AM

In reply to by Chuck (not verified)

Big little men: They have tried and tried to make the Camaro be in the same class as the Shelby. But I want to tell them the Shelby is a different breed in itself. Listen to the exhaust as you accelerate! mmm what a sound. Never will you get that from a Camaro only Shelby GT 350. I was at drag strip and a Shelby GT 350 did the Quarter of a mile in 11.8 11.9 two runs. Remember when the Camaro has to shift the Shelby GT 350 is still in the power ban. Besides the car is ugly. So you want sexy Shelby GT 350

Ken (not verified)    September 4, 2016 - 10:31PM

In reply to by David Barnard (not verified)

It amuses me that the author and several commenters point out that comparing the Camaro to the Mustang (1LE vs GT350) is not even a comparison. Does anyone remember when they discontinued the F Body GMs and they decided to compare Mustangs to Corvettes (GT vs Base Corvette and GT500 vs Z06)? I still have the magazine. That was even more preposterous. They were trying to compare a mass produced pony car vs a true sports car. Those 2 cars are not even in the same class, yet no one even complained about those comparisons.

Joshua Allore (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 11:33AM

I am a previous 5th Gen Camaro SS owner. I was one of the first in my city to own one in 2009. The issue with it was that the stock components were not manufactured with enough strength and continuously broke. Keep in mind that it was stock horsepower and torque snapping drive axles and drive shaft balancer bolts. The car does not look nearly as good as the Mustang GT350.
Is it me.... or is the new camaro sharing a similar look to the mustang? Hmmm thats interesting. Is chevy thinking the Mustang looks better as well?

I just purchased a 2017 Mustang for my girlfriend. It is the EcoBoost 4 cylinder 2.3L Turbo. This car has a respectable 310 horses. More than the 6 cylinder. I love the look and the interior of this car much more than any camaro.
Please keep in mind I was once a proud owner of a 5th Gen. I have always been a fan of Camaro, but have since been leaning toward the mustang. The 1967 Camaro is still my dream car. My father introduced me to the Camaro at a young age. I was in love from the very beginning.

This GT350 is not only a better car looks wise, but also mechanically. The high RPM Flat plane crank and sound alone is enough to make up the price difference. Not to mention that Mustangs have repeatedly had a higher resale value. Imagine what it will be when you add the Shelby name to that?
Interior is also very appealing.

All in all, I would much rather pay the extra dealer mark up and have a better car that makes me personally happy. These cars also have to be ordered. This makes them a hot commodity and rightfully calls for a mark up. Supply and demand people. lol I have had the privelage of driving one and it leaves nothing left to be desired. Very much a "driver" car.

Damien S (not verified)    September 28, 2016 - 8:10PM

Drive the regular mustang it feels like junk, drive the SS it feels like a mini corvette , The shelby is a small special edition,,, it should compare to the ZL1 which will smoke it. I can't say the resale is that much better 2012 shelby goes for 35k, the 1le has held its value decently esp at a 44K price.. the ADM on shelby is sick.

David Barnard (not verified)    September 28, 2016 - 9:07PM

To say the Mustang is Junk shows how dumb he is. I own two Mustangs a 50th anniversary and a 2016 Shelby GT 350. I have driven the Camero it's a good car. But the inside is cheap and hard to see out of. I don't like the size of the car. I would not say it's junk. Why someone needs to feel the need to call another great car junk shows me that he might be a Moron!! The GT 350 is an unbelievable car. Just drive it and you will be hooked.

Damien S (not verified)    September 28, 2016 - 9:36PM

In reply to by David Barnard (not verified)

First of all I did not call the SHELBY CHEAP I LOVE IT! I HATE THE REGULAR MUSTANGS , I SOLD MY C7 z51 and am getting a 1le * on order needed a daily driver vs the c7 . I test drove 3 mustangs REGULAR GT and found the inside very very plastic the stick shift very loose and the turning sloppy..and exhaust just ok the shelby is great and sounds fun but I do prefer a bit more low end torque off the stop light. I plan to add the borla atak exhaust to the 1le....... I just think the SHELBY IS something different than the regular mustangs and THE ADM IS RIDICULOUS in LA it was 20K over markup for 2016 that had overheating issues on the track without track pack now they add the track to 2017. PS HAVE you driven a 6th gen leather 2ss? the inside leather is close to a bmw m4!

David (not verified)    September 28, 2016 - 10:43PM

I can put you in touch with a dealer that has no Delvery fee only $2000 over sticker for the Shelby GT 350 . I can tell you the car will hold more value than you can image . Only car get flat crank motor are 100,000 or more . This motor does not go in any other car iits a race motor .

randy (not verified)    October 17, 2016 - 12:35PM

try sunset ford in st.louis i got my 2016 with track pack for 1k over msrp. in june of 2016. they are one of the best at customer service.

Anonymous (not verified)    October 29, 2016 - 12:06AM

I like anything with " cobra" nameplate although never owned one nor Camero.
Being retired ( GM) one might detect a favorite. Looking for the Achilles heel here
On either side, seems like GM is flogging old design motors ( someone cited old L series engines provide lower ctr. of gravity) WTH! Plus GM not putting there best foot forward MHOI just read some figures and
GM hardly broke right now. Now Ford puttting lots $ in performance cars and one sees how this works for Nissan, seems good for business wake up GM! Now track talk, Camero slightly behind and what about
the dreadful cooling issues? Tonight on The Fast Lane Car ( YouTube) reported Ford's flat plane cranks are
Breaking? . The track story to be continued.

GTJO (not verified)    November 15, 2016 - 11:39PM

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I read all these comments about the Chevy; but there is really nothing special about it. The Ford Specially engineered 5.2L Voodoo engine--32 valve,dual overhead camshaft,flat-plane crank motor with 8,250 redline is really special. The rotors are almost as big as the inside of the wheel rim / 2 piece w/ aluminum hats / drilled. Way bigger than the Chevy. There is not one panel in front of the A-Pillar that is interchangeable with the GT; all aluminum and refined for the GT350. I could go on and on about this car but a really good tutorial on it would be The 2015 GT350R at Jay Leno's Garage--YouTube.

Joe Heilbronn (not verified)    November 21, 2016 - 5:11PM

I had the opportunity to order an Avalanche Grey black roof track pack car @ sticker. Ordered in October delivered Jan 6th. Love it. I hope GM & Ford keep going at it as we are the winners of this. Style.