Camaro chief claims ZL1 will outperform Shelby GT500

It would seem on paper that the 2013 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 should easily slay the heavier and less powerful 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1. The former weighs 3,850 pounds and brings 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque to the table, the latter carries 4,120 pounds and 580 hp/556 lb-ft.

"We've done simulations. We predict that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60 than the [2013] GT500."

Not so fast, says Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser (above). Speaking with Autoblog at an Arizona drive event for the Camaro ZL1, Oppenheiser told us, "We've done simulations. We predict that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60 than the [2013] GT500... We ran the Nürburgring and released a time. Ford took the GT500, too, and never released a time. I guess you can draw your own conclusions."

When asked point-blank if he thought the ZL1 would be quicker around the 'Ring, Oppenheiser replied, "No question."

Them sounds like fighting words, especially in the face of data that suggests the opposite is true. Remember, this is the same guy who told Mustang fans "you're welcome" for encouraging Ford to throw everything it can at the Camaro.

But we're not counting Oppenheiser among the crazy just yet. All that power generated by the GT500's supercharged 5.8-liter V8 will be for naught if it can't reach the ground without turning into tire vapor, and let's not forget that the Blue Oval's bomber is still dragging around a solid rear axle, compared to the all-independent suspension sporting third-generation Magnetic Ride shocks on the ZL1. And who's doing the driving can always be the great equalizer when talking 'Ring times.

We're still inclined to put our chips on the blue square, but nothing's certain until these two titans of Detroit meet head-to-head.

Chevrolet Camaro Information

Chevrolet Camaro

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