Back in the muscle car heyday, enthusiasts could likely have imagined that the 2011 Mustang and Camaro would make at least 300 horsepower. They might even have imagined that the pony cars would be equipped with optional flight modes, nuclear reactors, and autopilots. What they likely never imagined is that Ford and GM would revive the time-honored tradition of pony car one-upmanship for V6 models.
But sure enough, Chevy came out with a 304 horsepower V6 Camaro only to have Ford beat that number by a single horsepower with its new 2011 V6 Mustang. Chevy’s V6 got an EPA highway rating of 29 mpg? Ford’s 2011 V6 just barely beat it again with 31 MPG highway. And the V6 wars show no signs of stopping. GM has just announced that it got its Camaro V6 re-certified with (apparently) no modification, and the new V6 ponycar benchmark is now set at 312 horsepower. Why all the one-upmanship in a class of cars that not long ago were seen as secretary specials or rental queens? More importantly, where’s the SS-versus-GT animus in all this?