In 1994, MotorWeek took a ’94 Camaro and ’94 Mustang to the track to get some real life comparison data. While we’ve seen plenty of real life races between the two in person over the years, this throwback comparison is pretty cool. Over two decades ago, the crew at MotorWeek took the two cars to the challenging Charlotte Motor Speedway to let the cars duke it out.
MotorWeek notes that the day was warm and muggy, so the numbers weren’t the best the cars could do. This test was to get the numbers in the same conditions, on the same track for each car for this specific comparison.
The Ford pony car representative brought to the track was a red Mustang GT coupe. Being the the first year for the SN95 chassis, 1994 was the beginning of the end for the old 5.0L V-8 making 215 horsepower and 285 lb.-ft. of torque, before it was ultimately replaced with the 4.6L in ’96. The BorgWarner 5-speed manual Mustang moved down the Charlotte straightaway to reach 60mph in 6.8 seconds. It went on to cover a quarter-mile straightaway in 15.6 seconds at 90mph.
The Mustang remained stable on the high banks of the track, even at 135 miles per hour. Its live axle handled the patches on the track ‘predictably’ for easy handling. Soft springs helped the ride quality, but also increased body roll and push. Goodyear Eagle ZR Gatorback tires helped it to stick, and drivers never noted any high-speed distress from the car.
Now onto the good stuff, the Camaro. MotorWeek brought in a Z28 with the LT1 5.7L V8, making 275 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. The Camaro reached 60mph in 6.4 seconds, and covers a straight 1/4 mile in 14.9 seconds at 95mph, making the Camaro the clear victor in this particular matchup. We’d be lying if we said we were surprised by that outcome.
Trekking around the apexs, the drivers praised the Borg Warner/clutch combination as being one of the best they’ve driven in a domestic coupe. It was only ‘at the absolute limit’ on the high banks that the Camaro got a little dicey, but it cornered like a champ. The drivers definitely seemed to have more fun with the torquier Camaro, letting it fishtail around corners and playing around with it a bit more. The test Camaro has Goodyear GSCs, that likely didn’t have much left tread on them at the end of the day.
Lacking in this comparison were actual test numbers outside of the straightaway times, where the Camaro was clearly faster. The reviews seems a little diplomatic, so we’ll go ahead and call it for the Camaro for them. Sorry MotorWeek, but we are a little biased.
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!