We spent a little time in preproduction V-6 models and came away impressed. Very impressed, in fact. With more power than the previous V-6 channeled into a lighter, more agile chassis, the effect is enlightening. Power delivery is strong and immediate, with a strong feeling of torque at low rpm. We look forward to driving the SS, but the V-6-powered LT is no slouch.
We spent a week with this yellow screamer hitting all the local hot spots, including Bradenton Motorsports Park, home of the NMRA Spring Break Shootout. Our GT was equipped with the standard rear gear (not 3.73s) along with the Getrag MT-82 six-speed, and we ran the car 100 percent stock—so no drag radials or tune. Heck, we didn’t even cool the engine! Traction was good, but the temperature was 84 degrees with mild humidity—not mineshaft conditions, by any means, but not sweltering either. Based on our experience we were hoping to break in the 12s at about 110 mph.
There’s more latitude in finding a good driving position, the seats are better, and the overall feel of the car is world-class. And there’s a host of aftermarket goodies if you’re looking for more. We would most certainly recommend the 3.73s for anyone planning to hit the strip, along with a set of drag radials.
There’s also a new interpretation of the Camaro’s iconic red, white, and blue “banner” insignia, displayed on the front fenders. We are told it was pushed by the Chevy design studio’s younger members, who thought the nod to earlier generations was wholly appropriate. We agree.
Once in Fourth, all that’s left is to ride it out. With 3.73 and a few mods, it may be necessary to upshift one more time into Fifth. This always makes us nervous because we don’t want to mess up the last shift, plus Fifth gear can be fragile and we don’t want to break the trans. Our test car did not require shifting into Fifth, but we’ve had to do so in 2011-2014 5.0 Mustangs.
Importantly, about 70 percent of the architectural components are unique to Camaro; and compared to the Gen 5 architecture, structural rigidity has increased 28 percent. The new structure also represents the bulk of the Camaro’s weight loss, in everything from the switch from a steel to aluminum instrument panel frame, to lighter suspension components. They even designed honeycomb-style lightening “holes” in a number of components to save fractions of pounds here and there.
The 2015 Shelby GT Mustang starts off with the very same 5.0L Coyote V8 from the Mustang GT but the similarities end there as the Shelby GT features a Ford Performance Racing Parts 2.3L TVS supercharger that bumps the power output all the way up to 650hp. You’ll also notice the unique Shelby aluminum caps on the overflow tanks that give the Shelby GT a little more sophistication under the hood. A Shelby cold air intake ensures the supercharged Coyote gets an adequate supply of air to let all 650 horses loose at a moment’s notice while a set of 3.73 gears allow the Shelby GT to get moving in a hurry.
To get started, select “Line Lock” in the Track Apps and follow the prompts. Once engaged, you get 15 seconds to smoke the tires—but you probably only need a third or half that time to get the job done. Be sure you have the engine revved above 4,000 when you dump the clutch; this will prevent the engine from bogging and overloading the clutch.
Like the exterior, the 2016 Camaro’s interior is completely new. In many ways, it represents a greater departure in style and functionality, too. The instrument panel, for example, retains the familiar dual-binnacle-style hood over the instruments, but the rest of it has been completely redesigned. Gone, too, is the cute but ergonomically challenged retro gauge panel in the center console.
Despite having enough power to bury the speedometer quickly, the Shelby GT feels very refined and composed. You could easily daily drive it or take a road trip in one without going deaf from a loud exhaust drone. The Borla exhaust gives the supercharged 5.0L Coyote an aggressive tone that harks back to the early days of the Shelby Mustangs that just simply can’t be beat.
The 2015 is comfortable and nimble on the street. It has good power and a great sound too. We were anxious to get on track, do a real burnout, and launch on a prepped surface. What we found is that the 2015 Mustang is tricky to launch compared to the out-going S197 Mustang. Why? In layman’s terms, the live axle in the S197, which is considered somewhat crude, provides great feedback for drag racing. The three-link suspension does a fantastic job of planting the tires and transferring the torque loads to the body to create pitch rotation (nose lift) to transfer weight from front to back. The heavy axle assembly also gives lots of feedback to the driver and really communicates what the tires are doing.
We recommend doing only enough of a burnout to clean the tires, as street tires don’t really react like slicks or drag radials. Don’t sit there and smoke ’em too long, or you will draw the oils from within the tire to the surface and that will actually make them slick, not sticky.
So how does the 2015 Shelby GT handle? Lucky for us, we got the opportunity to take the car for a spin and we got to experience just what this 650hp beast is all about. While it feels incredibly fast, you aren’t constantly worried about giving it too much throttle and spinning out. The traction control seems to keep it tracking straight when you crack open the throttle and the sway bars help it hug the curves, even under power.