In 1964, the pony car hit the scene in the form of the Ford Mustang. In 1967, a rivalry was born, when the Chevy Camaro first hit the scene. Their rivalry continues today. In this comparison guide, we'll pit the 2018 models of these two veteran pony cars against each other. Which still gets our hearts racing? Find out below.
Pricing: 2018 Ford Mustang (by a hair)
One of the hallmarks of a pony car is that they're not just for rich kids. Whether it's Steve McQueen's Bullitt or the car lineup in the Fast & Furious series, the message is that salt-of-the-earth people drive these cars. They just have to be affordable to be pony cars. But which is more affordable today? The Mustang or the Camaro?
Truth is, it's pretty close. The 2018 Ford Mustang starts at just $26,580. That's well below the price of the average new car sold in 2018, so the Mustang continues to be relatively affordable. The top-trim model is the high-performance Mustang Shelby GT350, which starts at $57,240. There's also the GT350R variant, but that's more for collectors and the race track.
The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro starts with a $25,905 price tag, just few hundred more than the base Mustang. The trim levels top with the Camaro ZL1, which starts at $61,500. So at either end, the Ford Mustang pulls ahead in this photo finish.
Power and Acceleration: Tie
Here's where the smoking rubber meets the road. The 2018 Ford Mustang starts things out with an EcoBoost turbo-four that puts out 310 horsepower and feels quite speedy. It gets better from there, of course, with an optional 460-horsepower V8 engine on the GT model. At the very top of this horsepower pyramid lies the 526-horsepower V8 engine, exclusive to the Shelby GT350 models.
The 2018 Chevy Camaro isn't to be outdone here. The Camaro offers a standard 2.0-liter inline-four engine that makes 275 horsepower. Above that, Chevrolet offers a 335-horsepower V6 engine. There's also a 6.2-liter V8 engine, making 455 horsepower and the top-tier Camaro ZL1 holds a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, making a earth-shaking 650 horsepower. At first blush, it looks like the Camaro wins the day, but the differences in horsepower prove largely academic. Put them on a race track, and neither car reliably outperforms the other.
Exterior: 2018 Ford Mustang
This category is largely about personal taste. If you prefer the look of the Camaro and don't mind paying a bit extra for it, go right ahead. But there is a reason why we prefer the look of the 2018 Ford Mustang, and that has to do with something we like to call the neo-retro look. In its exterior, the Mustang is leaning forward while honoring its long tradition. There's just enough of the Mustang of its heyday married to the Mustang of today to make the Ford our favorite.
Given that performance splits evenly, we look to pricing and styling to make out final call. In both those categories, the 2018 Ford Mustang wins by a hair. As it turns out, the original pony car continues to be better.