The bell’s already rung for the next round of the modern-day Camaro vs. Mustang war, and the Chevy has landed some solid blows.
At GM, the folks are crowing over the sales performance of the Chevrolet Camaro, which outsold the Ford Mustang—and the entire segment—for the ninth consecutive month. The new-generation Camaro launched at the beginning of last year and already has rung up nearly 75,000 sales. And just as important is who’s doing the buying.
GM claims “about half” of all buyers who traded in a car to get their new Camaro traded in a non-GM vehicle.
“We’re beginning to see owners of performance cars like the Mustang and [Nissan] 350Z trading in their cars to get behind the wheel of a Camaro,” said John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet Performance Cars. “To me, that’s an incredible testament to the appeal, and performance, of the Camaro.”
To Ford, on the other hand, those are fighting words—and the Blue Oval is ready to fight back. Its latest weapon? How about the 2011 V6-powered Ford Mustang, the world’s first production car capable of achieving better than 30 mpg highway while still packing more than 300 hp under the hood. That’s 31 mpg and 305 horses to be exact, and it’s no coincidence that both numbers just barely edge those of the V6 Camaro, which offers 29 mpg and 304 hp.
The key to the Mustang’s performance—on the road and at the gas pumps—is its weight-saving all-aluminum V6, a 3.7-liter powerplant that boasts Ford’s Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing. This advanced technology optimizes the engine’s operation with the ability to adjust its valvetrain in mere microseconds to respond to driver inputs.
Also notable is that the Mustang achieves its top fuel ratings with Ford’s cutting-edge six-speed automatic, not the standard six-cog manual; in most cars, you have to row the gears yourself to get your best mpg results.
Ford already has taken some 11,000 orders for the 2011 Mustang, which is set to go on sale this spring, and the news surrounding the V6 model will only boost the car’s momentum.
It might not be enough to catch the Camaro, but one thing is now obvious: In the ongoing Ford vs. Chevy battle for muscle-car supremacy, the clear winner is … today’s customers.
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