2011 Mustang wins Motor Trend’s Pony Car Wars

Last year, Motor Trend took a 2010 Ford Mustang GT, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, and a 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T and compared them.  They got all sorts of feedback, ranging from readers who were upset because the top-dog Challenger SRT-8 wasn’t in the test, to those who felt the Chevy shouldn’t have won, no matter how much (or little) it was better than the Ford.  Read on for my synopsis and a link to the article.

The differences for this year’s Round 2 are easy to spot; Motor Trend relaxed the price rule, since a Dodge Challenger which is comparably-equipped to its Camaro SS and Mustang GT rivals costs $12-13,000 more, and the 2011 Mustang GT includes a horsepower-appropriate engine, for the first time in 30 years.  The rule change obviously gave fans of the Challenger what they wanted, and Ford’s changes to the Mustang gave fans of its pony car what they’ve been asking for for 30 years.  Click here to view the comparison and see why the guys in Dearborn should be pretty happy with the changes they’ve made between last year’s run and this year’s.  Finishing order?  Ford Mustang GT, Dodge Challenger SRT-8, Chevrolet Camaro SS.

These results aren’t too surprising, given all the reviews and comparisons I read last year, which had the Chevrolet beating the Ford, and the Challenger bringing up the rear.  The reason for this order is because the Chevy was new, and had decent handling, but simply out-ran its competitors.  The Mustang, while lacking in raw power, had handling finesse the others could only hope for, since it was lighter.  The Challenger, meanwhile, was heaviest and worst-handling, but was the best styled.  In the end, horsepower and a modicum of handling won, followed by handling with a modicum of power, followed by design with not much else.  The same reasons the Camaro won last year are the reasons it lost this year, since the higher-horsepower SRT-8 was involved, and the Mustang lead-frogged its competitors in speed, if not in raw power (the Mustang puts out a few ponies less than its competitors, but still weighs a LOT less).

by John Suit

Source: Motor Trend; Image Source: Motor Trend

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