Monkey heads to New York to referee the ultimate US automotive grudge match
Life has been specially adapted for the purposes of surviving on the large concrete spit which goes by the name of Manhattan - especially the handover of media test vehicles.
You can't just have a car delivered in New York because parking is at such a premium, so cars are deposited in various underground garages throughout the city, and you are given the VIN to prove your authenticity. Today, the car in question is a 580hp Camaro ZL1: the second most frustrating machine to use in a town where the motor car is mostly pointless. It is saved the embarrassment of being labeled the most frustrating by the car it pulls alongside - the new 670hp Mustang GT500.
Why drive them in New York? Honestly, I had stuff to do there, and I just wanted to see them in that environment. It didn't disappoint, because they looked so good and garnered the best possible reactions. Even from the local constabulary.
I drove these cars with no prejudice, and found myself baffled by the Chevy-haters' lack of respect for the Camaro: it looks plain brilliant, the cabin is, to my eyes, better than the 'Stang's and it feels dynamically finished in a way the GT500 doesn't. But the Ford brings out the inner seventeen-year old in all of us: the one that used to skim through all the guffy adjectives about steering and handling, head straight for the performance data section and lust after the one with the most power and the best acceleration figures.
European car lovers are the great losers here. Ironically, the closest competitor to the GT500 on paper is the Ferrari 599 GTO: it's a little lighter, but just down on power, and Ferrari could charge you more for a special paint finish than a complete Mustang. We just don't have anything like these cars over here: they are a long way from perfect, but they make a virtue of their imperfections by constantly forcing the driver to measure them against list price.
Would the Ford be better without a live axle? Of course it would. Does it matter? I'm not so sure. And if anyone says an M3 would be faster around the 'ring, kick them in the groin.
Couldnt see the real 670 HP in action.. But i bet the new M5 is faster, even if it has 110 hp less.
Off the mark I'd agree, that Mustang will be an absolute handful to get off the mark, it won't have any traction in 1st anywhere near full throttle and 2nd gear will take some pulling off I'd imagine apart from a really hot day with sticky tyres.
Having driven the M5 V10 and owned a Saleen Mustang with 577BHP, the Mustang once rolling was faster in 2nd, 3rd and 4th upto 165mph!
So I'd imagine once that Shelby is hooking up in maybe 2nd, 3rd for sure, it will be the quicker car, lighter than an M5, more BHP and more torque!
These cars are brilliant in spite of and because or their flaws. In a weird way, the GT500 is the antithesis of the Subieyota while also being the embodiment of its charm. They both throw away lap times in pursuit of fun, while achieving fun in very different manners.