2021 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2020 Ford Shelby GT350

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Camaro (except LS) offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Shelby GT350 doesn't offer a collision warning system.

Both the Camaro and the Shelby GT350 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Camaro’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Shelby GT350’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The Shelby GT350’s redline is at 8250 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Camaro has a 6500 to 7200 RPM redline.

The battery on the Camaro is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Camaro’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Shelby GT350’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The Camaro LT1/SS’ standard 6.2 V8 produces 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8. The Camaro ZL1’s standard 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 124 more horsepower (650 vs. 526) and 221 lbs.-ft. more torque (650 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Camaro is faster than the Ford Shelby GT350 (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro LT1/SS

Camaro ZL1

Shelby GT350

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

3.5 sec

4.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

11.7 sec

12.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Camaro LT1/SS Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Shelby GT350 (16 city/24 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Camaro uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine for maximum performance). The Shelby GT350 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Shelby GT350 (19 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Camaro offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Camaro stops much shorter than the Shelby GT350:

Camaro

Shelby GT350

70 to 0 MPH

137 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

91 feet

101 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Shelby GT350’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Camaro has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Shelby GT350 (110.7 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the Shelby GT350 Coupe pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Shelby GT350 Coupe (22.9 seconds @ .91 average G’s vs. 23.6 seconds @ .83 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Camaro’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (38.1 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The Camaro ZL1’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Chevrolet Camaro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the Ford Shelby GT350.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Camaro Coupe a Compact car, while the Shelby GT350 is rated a Two Seater.

The Camaro has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Shelby GT350R Coupe can only carry up to 2.

The Camaro Convertible has .5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT350 (85 vs. 84.5). The Camaro Coupe has 8.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT350 (93 vs. 84.5).

Servicing Ease

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The Camaro uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Shelby GT350 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Camaro Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Camaro (except LS/LT1)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Camaro (except LS/LT1) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Camaro’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Shelby GT350 has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

When the Camaro with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Shelby GT350’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Camaro’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Shelby GT350 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the Camaro’s optional (except LS) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Chevrolet Camaro comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Ford Shelby GT350 isn’t available as a convertible.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Camaro owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Camaro will cost $3550 to $13900 less than the Shelby GT350 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Shelby GT350 isn’t in the top three.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 5 years. The Shelby GT350 hasn’t been picked since 2017.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The Shelby GT350 was Car of the Year in 1994.

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