By on May 28, 2019

A new addition to the Ford Mustang lineup arrives this fall, just in time to do battle with a new addition to Chevrolet’s Camaro stable. As sales falter, the pony car wars are heating up. However, while these two steeds do not differ greatly in price, their means of motivation are quite dissimilar.

Now that pricing has been revealed for the 2020 Mustang High Performance Package, we can contrast it with the equally new Camaro LT1 — a bargain V8 model slotted below the SS. It’s four cylinders versus eight.

Ticking the box for the High Performance Package elevates the Mustang above the entry-level EcoBoost model, but it doesn’t quite reach GT levels. It does in some regards, though. The package adds a larger twin-scroll turbo and other alterations to a 2.3-liter EcoBoost borrowed from the now defunct Focus RS, then bundles it together with 13.9-inch front brake rotors and 255/40 R19 rubber sourced from the GT Performance Package. A tuned exhaust, rejigged suspension, and GT Performance Package aero add-ons complete the package.

Output is 330 horsepower, some 20 ponies more than the standard EcoBoost, with an identical torque figure: 350 lb-ft.

Image: Ford

As CarsDirect reports, order guides show the package costing $4,995, with a Ford spokesperson confirming the price. This places the MSRP for a 2020 Mustang EcoBoost coupe with High Performance Package at $32,760 after delivery. Should buyers choose, they can boost the model’s prowess (and slightly surpass the price of a Mustang GT) by adding the Handling Package. The upgrade, which requires an equipment package, pushes the model to $36,755. A 10-speed automatic will cost you more.

Compared to this, Chevy’s Camaro 1LT borrows the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 found in the SS, sending 455 hp and 455 lb-ft to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual for an after-delivery price of $34,995. That’s three grand less than an SS, but just over two grand more than a Mustang High Performance Package (you can call the car that — there’ll be badging). Of course, adding the Handling Package will see the Stang’s price leapfrog the Camaro’s by nearly two grand.

Levels of content between the two differ, of course, and in many cases this will be the deciding factor for those not afflicted with Ford vs. GM Syndrome.

Both models go on sale this fall, with the rival automakers attempting to stimulate sales by giving buyers what they want: more power. In Chevy’s case, the strategy is more power for less cost. If boosted four-bangers aren’t your bag, GM wins in the eight-cylinder field, at least in terms of price. Unfortunately for the General, the base Camaro’s turbo four pales next to the entry-level EcoBoost, delivering the slightly more expensive Ford a win on the bottom rung.

[Images: Ford, General Motors]

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26 Comments on “Price Wars: Ford Pits Brawnier Four-cylinder Mustang Against Chevrolet’s Bargain V8 Camaro...”

  • avatar

    I much prefer the Mustang to the camaro.

    But if we’re talking a turbo 4 vs a General Motors V8 at the same price point….. this isn’t even a question.

    I’m putting a V8 in the drive every single time.

    Now mustang V8 or Camaro V8 im choosing the Mustang every single time.

    The idea of a turbo 4cyl mustang I guess is just wrong to me. I’ve driven it. It’s pretty good honestly. But it’s kinda like muscle cars are supposed to have V8s. BMWs In-line 6. Miatas a fully retracting roof, Cadillacs big bold style. If you don’t have some of these things then in my eye you don’t really have a muscle car/bmw/Miata/Cadillac.

    Go buy something else. I’d rather have a GTI over a turbo 4 cylinder mustang. Feels at least the GTI is being authentic to what it is.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly this.

      The Camaro is an awful car for a daily driver, but given the A or B choice the 6.2L LS engine wins every single time. It isn’t even an issue of cylinder count, the 6.2 is a fantastic freakin’ engine and when driven above 6/10 the Camaro is a fun car. Awful, awful, awful, daily drive.

      Can I LS the Mustang???

  • avatar

    I’ve driven a 2015 EB Mustang as a daily driver for the last three years, or so. Great car, more than enough power for my purposes. Though it seems to have a thirst for 91- 93 Octane ? So don’t expect stellar gas mileage .

    Having owned the the previous generation Camaro ,the visibility thing is a deal breaker for me.

  • avatar

    I’d for sure prefer the 6.2L over the EB, but I still think the “right” answer for me would be the Mustang GT.

  • avatar

    Before I ended up buying a new Mustang GT a couple years ago, I thought I wanted a Camaro SS. Vette engine and whatnot. The best deal I had on paper was nearly 9 Grand off a 1SS, so if that can be repeated on this new “cheap V8” version, it will be the performance bargain of the century. Even if you still can’t see out of it. At least Chevy gives you a MUCH larger backup cam screen, standard.

  • avatar

    This is almost motivation for me to go out and buy a 6-speed V8 Camaro, but a friend bought one when this model came out and the honeymoon was unbelievably short.

  • avatar

    $4995 for 20 horsepower is not a price war.

  • avatar

    I would walk over to FCA and get a V8 with a couple options after discounts for the same price. The 6.2L is a gem, but the car around it is a garbage fire; and paying 32k for a 4 cylinder should come with a free psychiatric exam.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually looking on there are quite a few Mustang GTs with the Manual for around $29,000. If you can stomach that Chinese gearbox then that’s not too bad. Makes you wonder what kind of nut case would even look at this 4 cylinder “performance pack”.

      • 0 avatar

        For track use, I would say the turbo four with the performance pack is the way to go. The 170 pound lighter four banger would probably be more fun at most of the facilities that host track days than would be the V8.

        Disclaimer: I have not driven the V8 on the track. I’ve been driven in one, and have driven the I4.

      • 0 avatar

        A nut case with an axe to grind. They are out there and the logic generally starts with “the T4 has less weight on the nose”, followed by fuel economy and whatever else.

        Although to be fair outside of insurance and fuel the T4 Mustang is just cheaper to operate. Properly kitted up (performance pack I & II) and without checking it out I’d say the tires add another few hundred to the annual or biannual costs.

        Generally you’ll find people who get the V8 cars and then have to spring for tires ruin them with the cheapest set they can find – speed rating/load rating, braking and cornering performance be damned.

    • 0 avatar

      Same here, I’d take a Challenger or Charger with the 5.7, five usable seats, a large trunk, and the ability to operate all year.

      I’ve driven a 2018 Mustang with the Performance Package. It was pretty decent, and the price was outstanding. However, the need to transport wife and kids on occasion makes it totally impractical.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    if we are just talking power train it seems the choice is clear but of all the “retro” modern muscle car designs the Camaro, to me, is the least appealing. it has never grown on me.

    • 0 avatar

      I still can’t separate Transformers from the Camaro, and that’s just one of many reasons why I’d not even consider the Camaro. I’d not consider the 4-cyl Mustang either, unless it really sounded like business.

  • avatar

    I’m always conflicted about the pony cars. On the one hand, I’ve always liked the looks of a Mustang with a couple exceptions, but I’m not necessarily a purist in that they’re required to be a V8 or nothing. I’ve driven 4 or 5 Mustangs, if I recall correctly (a 98 GT, a 2013 Mustang V6 [with mods that I can’t recall], an 03 Mustang V6, a 15 Mustang 2.3T, a 14 Mustang V6 and a 17 Mustang GT). While I enjoyed them all, insofar as to say that I got my mitts on a Mustang briefly, I don’t think I could live with them as a daily driver. My friend with the 17 GT reports that he has drivers on the road try to fool around with him even when he’s just trying to go to work.

    With regards to Camaros, I’ve only ever ridden in 3. One was a circa 1986 Iron Duke, 23 years old at the time (peak mullet-mobile) and already on its last legs. The others were circa 1999-2002 fish face Camaros. Consequently, I don’t draw comparisons because the new ones are so far removed. However, after sitting it a couple I feel the seating position, lack of visibility, and inherent compromises would be hard to handle in short order.

    The Challenger feels too big to be considered a pony car, maybe a draft horse would be more appropriate. I’ve listed after them for awhile, but the finances are never right. I could probably live with it as there are fewer compromise that would need to be made.

  • avatar
    John R

    I have a separate question.

    Why is the turbo-4 Mustang 310-330hp/350lb-ft when the Focus RS had 350hp and 350lb-ft? What am I missing here?

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      Because a 350/350 tune on this engine would make their V8 GT less appealing.

      We’re getting to the point where the same exact engine hardware is in a number of models, and to get more performance, you pay more for a sportier ‘tune’ from, in this case, Ford. Tesla is this way, also, with certain features ‘unlocked’ after you fork over more money.

      The Mustang turbo 4 might already have 350/350, and they’re just fibbing about it to protect GT sales. If it’s not, I bet an aftermarket tune would bring it right up there.

  • avatar

    Remember when Ford offered a turn for the secretaries Mustang that boosted horsepower by 25 and torques by 70? For only $699?

    All while preserving the factory warranty. Tell me again how for $5k this is anything but a major rip off.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Call me crazy but the only one of the 3 pony cars I’m interested is a v6 mustang.With a 6spd man. curb wt is 3500lbs or so, the larger brakes /susp. can transfer over.30mpg on the highway is possible. Pretty much a modern day fox LX.
    The v6 is pretty much bullet proof, is as smooth/rough as my old g37 was and makes power at the fun end of the tach.I’ve noticed the prices of manual coupes has flattened over the past years ( due to discontinuation) so I think the demand is keeping resale value up. The ecoboost though can be had for a song.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    I will take a Mustang LT1, please.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Eh, the correct answer is an LS swapped third gen Trans Am with a cage, T Tops, and Guns n Roses Greatest Hits…on cassette of course. Busch Light and Marlboro Reds sold separately.

    In all honesty we were at the pool this weekend and I saw several nice cars go by to include a new 911. But half the pool stopped when a beautiful, early 4th gen Z-28 with an exhaust pulled away from the stop sign.

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