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Old 10-23-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
Mikamaro
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Road and Track review: BOSS302 VS SS1LE

The Mustang Boss 302 and Camaro 1LE head to head at Motown Mile

An old favorite and a new favorite face off.


By*Alex Kierstein*October 10, 2013*/ Photos by Marc Urbano

SLIDESHOW: MOTOWN MILE CAMARO 1LE VS. MUSTANG BOSS 302
http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-revi...?click=main_sr

It's no secret that we loved the recently-cancelled Ford Mustang Boss 302. It was a near-perfect example of this generation Mustang, universally admired by the staff. But it's gone, and while we wait for the 2015 Mustang to bow, Chevrolet's got a 1LE package available on the Camaro SS. As you might already know, that's basically a bunch of ZL1 bits (close-ratio transmission, a higher final drive ratio, a host of suspension changes) paired to the car's already-stout 426 hp V8.

By comparison, the Boss 302 has a 444 hp Coyote with a 7500 rpm redline, some of the coolest OEM sidepipe systems around, and an LSD out back. What it doesn't have are the massive 285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 tires on both ends of the 1LE.So, how do the two stack up?

We put our Editor-in-Chief and noted hotshoe Larry Webster in both cars at our Motown Mile airport track, and asked him to tell us how the two stack up.

On the Boss 302:
The Boss is so wonderful because it's really charismatic. It sounds fantastic, it looks brilliant, and when you drive it, it's really wild and it's wooly. And if you turn off that traction control, and it'll go sideways in a minute. It'll spin the tires at will. I's just a beast.

They seem to have taken off just the top edge where it's not annoying, and that's the real trick to this car. It has tons and tons of character, but it doesn't annoy you. It is like that person that is really fun to be around and really energetic, but after two hours you are like "get me the f*** out of here." You don't have that with this car. That is one of the things I've always admired about the Boss 302.

While it's certainly approachable, you've got to know what you are doing because it is stupid fast. What's also neat about the Boss is that it would be a very good learning car because it will go sideways—way, way sideways—but you can catch it and you can recover. All of the things about counter-steering and what you do with the throttle all applies to it. Character is such a big part of that machine, it is such a joy to be around.

I think the fact that it's slower than the Camaro doesn't bother me.

Because it is not something you're going to take to the track every day. I think every time you get in it it is going to feel special, and not many cars deliver that sort of experience.

On the Camaro 1LE, and its massive tires:
The tires on the Camaro are an issue here, in a good way. It has these wider tires all around, and they're much higher-performing, grippier tires than the Boss 302 has. You can tell as soon as you turn the Camaro's wheel. The thing bites. I mean, it is a very responsive front end, even though it weighs a ton. And the Mustang just doesn't have that kind of grip. It can't keep up in the corners.

The big problem with the Mustang is how it's a constant fight when accelerating out of the corners to keep the thing from going sideways. With the Camaro, it is less powerful and it is geared taller than the Mustang, so you can roll in the gas sooner.

But it is not as lively, or as entertaining. That being said, the Camaro is a pretty brilliant car. I mean I get in it, and I want one, too. Which is shocking in and of itself. The Camaro does exactly what you tell it. It is very planted, it is super forgiving. I mean, you can do all kinds of dumb stuff. You can brake too late, you can trail brake it, you can do anything and nothing happens to surprise you. It telegraphs what is going to happen, that in about a second it's going to go sideways here, so you'd better be ready. And then it does it, and you can catch it and you can do whatever you need.

The only thing that really hurts the Camaro is that it's such a big car. If they could shrink it to 7/8ths the size, think about how awesome a thing it would be. The Mustang splits that difference pretty well, but it is still kind of a big car. I'm amazed how much I wish I could own both of these cars.

On transcending the muscle car genre:
I think both cars definitely transcend the muscle car idea because they are not as penalized by a heavy front weight bias as they used to be. They don't understeer like crazy like they used to. They are actually very balanced and almost neutral. Especially that Camaro. I can't remember the last time I've had a car doing perfect four wheel drifts. You hear everybody talk about that, but it's almost impossible to pull off. On the track, especially at a hairpin, you can trail brake the Camaro. And then the back end comes out and then the whole car is sliding sideways, rocketing towards the apex just beautifully. And not many cars pull that kind of thing off. So to have that in these machines that are like $30,000, these things are crazy impressive.

I mean think about a 370z, think about an old RX-8, any of those old Japanese cars, think about a BMW 1M. The 1LE and the Boss 302 give just as much feedback, and are rewarding even on the backroads. And they have the performance advantage of those big, simple V8s.

On which one he'd choose:
Between these two, I go back and forth. It is almost like the last one I drove the one I want. But I'd probably go with the Mustang just because the engine revs higher, it sounds a lot more delicious—that thing just wails. It is a very American sound. There is a higher degree of style in the Mustang, but it doesn't look like it is trying to be high-style. The Camaro is obviously this very flashy design, but it looks like it is trying to be this flashy design. The Mustang is like they've pulled the right cues forward, but it looks more mature, less video-gameish. I can see out of it a little better, it's more comfortable. It just presses the right buttons.

I think Ford understands that a sports car is about an experience, not numbers. There has to be some level of high performance. They get that, fine. But what is the difference between 4.4 and 4.0 seconds to 60? Nothing. You can't feel it. But all those other touch points, the way the shifter goes through the gate, the motor, the linearity of the brake pedal, the steering response, and all these other little cues that sum up to this thing that you are just overjoyed to be in and be driving? I think they get that almost better than anybody these days. Almost better than Ferrari, and Ferrari certainly gets that.

There's a diminishing return thing with power. The Camaro has 426 horsepower (which would have been crazy power not too long ago), but when I was driving it, I was thinking "meh, it's not that strong." Part of it is the weight, part of it is the gearing, which is too tall in that car, but I don't think more power is going to add to that equation.

For both companies, I think the goal from now on is making the cars lighter. As fun as these cars were, we had that Evora there at the same time, and jumping back into the Lotus, all I could think about was how much crisper the response was. The thing is so much more connected that this feeling of connection actually takes precedence over speed.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:05 PM   #2
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No one read this or commented?
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:13 PM   #3
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my favorite stat>
Virginia Internation Raceway:
Lamborghini Murcialago/Nissan GT-R35- 2:53
Camaro 1LE- 2:55

/conversation
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
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Road and Track needs to read C5 and rewrite their story. I read on here that the 1LE can beat the SS and GT 500 in a drag race because of the lighter wheels, 3:91 gears and the super duper gizmos and gadgets that make it faster. Yep I read it on the C5
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fred 6528 View Post
Road and Track needs to read C5 and rewrite their story. I read on here that the 1LE can beat the SS and GT 500 in a drag race because of the lighter wheels, 3:91 gears and the super duper gizmos and gadgets that make it faster. Yep I read it on the C5


Nice sarcasm there.

Drive a 1LE or even better OWN a 1LE and you will know how great the car is. There are better but not many at the price.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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It drives me nuts when they talk about light weight cars and compare them to muscle cars that put down numbers as good or better than most sports cars. We all know that the Boss 302 is a great car but the 1LE just performs better because of tires, gearing, suspension tuning, etc.

I've had light weight sports cars with decent power but no going back for me.

They can eat the dust from my 4,000 lb ZL1!
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by aggieguy13 View Post
my favorite stat>
Virginia Internation Raceway:
Lamborghini Murcialago/Nissan GT-R35- 2:53
Camaro 1LE- 2:55

/conversation
2:55? Last time Ive check it was 2:58, no?
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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Typical Ford biased review with typical Stang Lover/Camaro Hater comments about the Camaro and its flash in the pan design (read jealousy) and how it's such a heavy car. Now the added excuse about the tires being the difference. Well, I say look at the results around the track between the 2 cars and which one comes out on top? Which one admittedly in the review handles the corners so much better? The Camaro, of course, and then the reviewer says he would pick the Mustang because he thinks it looks nicer? Why even bother going through the motions with both cars on the track if you are going to give the edge to a car because of its looks, in your opinion? Ford engineers have been bested by Al Oppenheiser and his team! Ford could have designed their car with better brakes and tires but chose not to! This appears to be a paid review to bail Ford's engineers out!

Some auto mags (and reviewers) are still are in denial that the 5th Gen Camaro is one hell of a car, and can't get past their Ford bias.

JMHO....
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:03 PM   #9
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Quote of the day:-''I think the fact that it's slower than the Camaro doesn't bother me.''*
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:06 PM   #10
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Quote of the day:-''I think the fact that it's slower than the Camaro doesn't bother me.''*
That's because for him it was a beauty contest...
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikamaro
Quote of the day:-''I think the fact that it's slower than the Camaro"



there i fixed it for you
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:21 PM   #12
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That's because for him it was a beauty contest...
What a Poseur!

How can you say that when youre at the track comparing ''dedicated'' track car!?
-''Yes! lets go racing but give me the good looking slower car.__________________''

Im stunned.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:30 PM   #13
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Slow down at motown...what showdown?
No number to report? Didn't they have a watch at least?
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:03 PM   #14
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The author wrote the article before he turned the key on the Camaro.
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