Thank goodness it’s not another Mustang versus Camaro showdown, we’re starting to feel bad for the ole’ pony car. In this video, we get to check out something a little different, a head-to-head between a 2015 M4 and 2016 Camaro SS. While the team at Motor Trend tries to stay as objective as possible, we’re naturally rooting for the Camaro, let’s see how they stack up!
The Camaro SS is obviously going to knock the BMW M4 out of the running, speaking from a price point perspective. A 2015 M4 carries a base price of $69,245, and $81,045 as tested. Now, compare that to the $42,295 base price of the 2016 Camaro SS, and $46,095 as tested — the M4 is going to have to really bring it in other areas to justify the difference in this heads-up comparison.
To add to the near $35k price difference, the performance figures between the two are nearly identical. The Camaro has an ever-so-slightly better 0-60 mph time at 4.1 seconds to the BMW M4’s 4.2 seconds. Again, the Camaro has a slightly better lead in the quarter with a 12.4 at 115.8 mph to the M4’s 12.5 at 116.5 mph quarter performance.
As far as the figure eight goes, the Camaro has an average of 24.1 seconds at 0.83 Gs and the M4 has an average of 24.1 seconds at 0.82 Gs, pretty much identical. The biggest performance difference on paper is the braking distance, the Camaro has a 6-foot shorter braking distance at 102 feet from 60-0 mph.
The guys at Motor Trend do point out that these numbers come from controlled testing, and things are very different when you’re actually on the road. During the on-track races, they did 75 launches to get a 10 second clip of video, with the Camaro winning 68 times of those, keep walking BMW! This difference isn’t entirely the car’s fault, it may be more of a driver error situation since the turbo lag makes launching a little bit more mathematical than in the naturally aspirated Camaro SS.
While the Camaro SS is the clear winner in consistency and controlled and ‘real life’ drag scenarios, there are a few other tests to put the cars through, for the sake of fairness. The Camaro SS lost some points in the drift test from the team since the Camaro kept wanting to straighten itself out, noting that the BMW has an advantage, but it was slight.
Time to hit the test track in both cars. The driver notes that the 2015 M4 is an improvement over previous Ms, and the Camaro SS is impressive, especially when it comes time to power through the straighter parts of the track. Time trials show that the Camaro SS is narrowly a second slower at 1:23.15 minutes to the BMW M4’s 1:22.94 minutes — it was really nipping at the BMW, which usually owns in this area.
Now the guys get a little subjective, and make a few really good points about the M4. Mainly that it’s not much of a luxury car, doesn’t have a very pleasant exhaust note, and the steering is described as being “rubbery”, ouch! They also note that the BMW is missing a lot of equipment for the $80k price point, almost tiring themselves pointing out what the car doesn’t have.
Switching it over to the Camaro SS for the ‘subjective’ test, the guys are clear fans. It beats the BMW in every single facet of the subjective testing, from response, to feel, to options, etc. It only loses points in the initial braking bite. The 2016 Camaro SS earns the title of the ‘Clear Subjective Winner’ as a sports car. Even in the technical tests and numbers, the Camaro SS is the winner in most areas, and certainly not a clear loser in any single category.
This shows that there’s an interesting shift in the attitude towards cars by the manufacturer’s. The BMW M4 is barking up the wrong tree trying to play in the Camaro’s class. From many perspectives, it’s not really even a great car in the luxury class either, making it kind of an awkward situation, especially considering how much it costs. As much as BMW wants to try to compete with the Camaro, it hasn’t created a winning formula to do so. Now as far as the Camaro SS goes, Chevy is really itself. It’s the king of the playground in most areas, and where it ‘lacks,’ it’s not by much, fractions of seconds/points, if that. Good job Camaro SS, you’ve made us proud, once again!
Elizabeth is a hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!