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Motor Trend Head2Head: GT350R vs. Z/28


El Kabong

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Never let it be said that I am not an even-handed kinda guy. They put the Zeta Z/28 against the GT350R and it lost, fair and square. 2 tenths slower in the quarter, 1.4 slower around the road course they used. Still not a bad showing for a five year-old car and a ten year-old engine tho.

...also, there's the small matter of ONE of these cars being off by 25hp or so on their actual hp numbers. Either that, or one uses raw bitumen as gear lube.

In any event, here's the link:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLA97180860447EE6A&v=vtdtGgf1BF0

Edited by El Kabong
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...well. It appears that the cheering is a bit subdued.

Ok then: from a GM perspective there is some interesting stuff to take away from this one. Most notable is the apparent discrepancy in power and torque numbers as shown by the chassis dyno.

GM claimed 505hp and 481lb/ft of torque for the last run of LS7 engines. The chassis dyno, not surprisingly, showed a power loss at the rear wheels:

469hp-36 less horsepower

437lb/ft-44 less torques

Conversely, Ford claims 526hp and 429lb/ft for the 5.2. The dyno numbers here were less flattering:

471hp-55 less horsepower

375lb/ft-54 less torques

Food for thought, fer sure

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Some of the track components that both cars have might be adding weight too, like beefier stuffs and whatnots and tyres and stuffs.

 

Are both engines SAE rated?

 

I would hesitate to say the Z/28 Camaro is 5 years old. It was such a transformation of the Zeta chassis, using MultiMatic DSSV parts, and I'd like to think it's almost a cross between an Alpha and Zeta chassis.

 

Heck, the S550 is for the most part just a derivative of the S197. Even Ford decidedly did disclose that much. It's more like S197 2.0  :smilewide:

 

Zeta 2.0 maybe? Anyways, I guess they approached the Z28 as what can we do to make a production car that probably is more akin to a standardized regime of adding excellent parts to transform the chassis? To me, it's almost as if it Chevrolet found the best aftermarket parts equivalents in terms of amazing noticeable improvements from suppliers, and just hammered way to make a track package that no one could possibly make without way more time and expense. The in-house engineering, testing and QA plus factory warranty is almost like a service that GM is doing onto an existing donor Camaro, except it's not. It's the way I understand it though.

 

The GT350R is the exact same to me as well. I think the GT350R equipped as it was for $66k is pretty good. You do get a fresher and yet more livable and equally hard-core car.

 

I couldn't care any more that the GT350R actually was better in the performance tests. They're both excellent, but the GT350 throws in a different kind of aural experience and is just more refined. The price isn't much ado, the dealer markups on the GT350R are ludicrous while the Z/28, you don't really have to worry as much about the extra expense.

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I understand that the Ford's interior is newer and therefore better. I get that magnetic ride is better when it's properly sorted. And if the Z/28 was still being built it would have a price disadvantage.

But I look at the Shelby's curb weight and think "carbon wheels and no back seats only get you to the weight of a stock SS?"

Then I look at the dyno sheets and think "is the Voodoo overrated or the LS7 underrated?"

Finally, I look at the margins of victory. Even if you only consider the Z/28 a three year-old car... It's a three year-old car. With a ten year-old engine.

Bottom line: Congratulations, Ford. But they really haven't advanced the state of the art that much. I think GM has this under control.

Edited by El Kabong
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The GT350R only lost 10.4% from engine to wheels. I think the z28 is underrated.

To me one of the most telling comments from them was the numbness in the steering in the Z.

I'd also like to say that I called the superior corner exit strength of the 5.2 and its power band. Gobs and gobs of low end and mid range torque are great for driving every day but when you're trying to put the power down at the limit its that much tougher. The progressive power band of a flat plane crank make it easier to get the power to the ground.

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What we have to remember is that these hard core models have never been about being state of the art. Again, they're more of just a hell of a convenience for people who don't have to end up modding their cars with the benefits of a production car engineering, build quality, signature car styling and a warranty. No need to retro-fit, you get the track machine straight from the manufacturer of the base car.

 

So of course, what matters more is the platform underneath. I expect hi-po versions of the Alpha Camaro to be flawless when it comes to performance because of what Alpha is capable of, and possibly crushing the performance value quotient even further.

 

Now, for Ford to pull a last gen style Chevy SS 1LE performance victory over the current Mustang GT PP; against the Alpha Camaro SS, will require an indomitable amount of effort during their mid-cycle in 2018. 

 

But there is only so much that can be done to a D2C chassis already stripped and reworked for whatever Ford thought was modern in 2011/2. Because that's what the Mustang really is today. Chevy has pulled ahead by 2-3 model years at the bare minimum now. 

 

For the Mustang, it's going to be a long wait now for a crack at redemption, possibly what CD6 might bring, while Chevy prepares its 2017/18 Camaro variants.

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Let us say for the sake of argument that Chevy does NOT debut some kind of engine upgrade over the LT1 for the Camaro in Detroit in January. What would it take to get it to go toe to toe with the 350R regardless?

Let's start with a 1SS six-speed. It weighs 3,670 pounds. Now, let's leave the carbon wheels to Ford and let them be the guinea pigs. Instead, just carry over the carbon ceramic brakes from the Z/28. That'll save 5 pounds per corner. While we're at it, let's also take 19" rims of similar width and construction too. Maybe another 2 pounds per corner? So we have about 30 pounds shaved off, at a price bump of, say, 8 grand over the 1SS. Then, screw it. Throw in the Zedder's Recaros too, for another 20 pounds lost.

Throw out the back seat. Another 20 pounds, and trim a bit of coin off the price. And just like that you're at 3,600 pounds, with upgraded brakes and tires, with no loss of electronic goodies and a decent stereo. All for about 45 grand.

Now, if you want to push it to 50, let's talk carbon fibre hood and trunklid for an expensive way to shave 20 pounds, and a smaller-amperage battery as a cheap way to shave another 10.

At this point you're comfortably 200 pounds lighter than a 350R. For fifteen grand less.

No worries.

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The 1SS does not come with the magnetic shocks will be necessary on the theoretic car. Add back, what, 5-10lbs a corner over a conventional shock/strut? Why do you think a larger overall wheel will weigh less than the aluminum wheels that are already on the car?

I don't think your weight loss goal is unrealistic but I think your pricing is unrealistic. This performance car you speak of will only cost a couple grand over a 2SS? I just don't think that is realistic. Personally, I think it would come in closer to GT350 price than 1SS price.

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The 1SS does not come with the magnetic shocks will be necessary on the theoretic car. Add back, what, 5-10lbs a corner over a conventional shock/strut? Why do you think a larger overall wheel will weigh less than the aluminum wheels that are already on the car?

I don't think your weight loss goal is unrealistic but I think your pricing is unrealistic. This performance car you speak of will only cost a couple grand over a 2SS? I just don't think that is realistic. Personally, I think it would come in closer to GT350 price than 1SS price.

The pricing is pretty realistic as far as I can figure. The 1SS is a legit 37 large (or 36 depending on source). The brakes add 6-ish grand, the rims about an extra grand (smaller diameter offsets better alloy), the carbon fibre bits five grand. You save cash on the back seats going away, and you take that savings and throw it on another grand for the Recaros. The battery is small potatoes. Poof-50 large.

The 2SS costs what it does because of the bling it provides, as well as mass. Neither is desirable for a GT350R fighter (which, let's not forget, offers an electronics package as an option). Even if you want to throw in the added weight and cost of magnetic ride you're still looking at a 52-grand car that has a 140-ish pound advantage over MT's test Shelby.

And that's not even touching the engine.

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There is no surprise that the new GT350R beat the outgoing (and no longer in production) Z/28. It is a top notch drivers car that is oodles of fun on the track and the road. Going to be great to see what Chevy counters with in the next year or so. The SS is already close to that to begin with.

Edited by Drew Dowdell
Removed Re-Trolling
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I do not recall anyone saying that it didn't win the Head2Head.

But by the same token I'm not too concerned, either by the margin of victory or the time and manner in which GM can respond.

It's a nice victory. But let's not forget it was once again against an out-of-production car.

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Again, It's Ford sliding right into a market that Chevy has left. Pretty simple for them, exceed the Camaro in every way and deliver it for a lower MSRP.

 

Plus I think they inflated the price because of the FPC. But they had to as well, it's a recent engine versus the LS7 which had already served duty for quite a while.

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All well and good. But again, I see nothing about the new boss (ahem) that was a quantum leap ahead of the old boss. Indeed, I iust laid out a perfectly plausible scenario where GM could do a car of the 350Rs equal using leftovers, a bone-stock LT1, and a price tag well over ten grand less.

From a GM guy's perspective this is not a big deal at all. The most complicated part may be which method to use to regain the crown, and how soon do you want to do it.

Edited by El Kabong
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It it is out of production, then perhaps GM needs to change their Camaro perofrmance web page. It is front and center in fact.

Out of production and cars still for sale are two completely different things and you know that. There is no 2016 Z/28 and Chevrolet is just selling the remaining 2015 Z28s still on dealer lots.

Edited by surreal1272
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It it is out of production, then perhaps GM needs to change their Camaro perofrmance web page. It is front and center in fact.

Out of production and cars still for sale are two completely different things and you know that.

 

 

If and when GM produces something else, we can talk again.  And you know that.

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It it is out of production, then perhaps GM needs to change their Camaro perofrmance web page. It is front and center in fact.

Out of production and cars still for sale are two completely different things and you know that.

 

 

If and when GM produces something else, we can talk again.  And you know that.

 

Don't try to change the argument that YOU started. You claimed that they are still in production, because they are still on Chevy's website, which means nothing and that has been proven. Don't get angry because you are wrong. 

Edited by surreal1272
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