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SVT chief: The Boss 302 was the motivation for the 2013 Shelby GT500, not the Camaro ZL1

By - December 5, 2011 – 8:19 am4 Comments | 6,013 views

Jamal Hameedi, SVT Chief Nameplate Engineer

The announcement of the 2013 Shelby GT500 at the L.A. Auto Show caused various reactions throughout the automotive community. Mustang fans, of course, were ecstatic to see a production Mustang with 650 horsepower capable of 200 mph. Others, like Al Oppenheiser, the chief engineer of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, had a different perspective. After the Shelby’s debut, Oppenheiser wrote a letter to the Camaro Nation claiming that the “2013 GT500 will still not match the technology and sophistication of the 2012 Camaro ZL1.” He took it another step further, saying “for Mustang fans, you’re welcome. Clearly the Camaro has encouraged Ford to throw everything they can at us.”

That’s not the case, according to Jamal Hameedi, the SVT chief nameplate engineer. At the L.A. Auto Show Hameedi informed us that the increased performance of the 2013 GT500 was not inspired by the Camaro ZL1 but rather to stay a step ahead of the Mustang Boss 302. When we asked whether the Camaro ZL1 influenced the development of the 2013 GT500, he quickly responded by saying “surprisingly not because when we launched this program it was in the darkest days of the automotive industry. Everyone had said the ZL1 program was canceled. So actually when we kicked this program off the ZL1 was canceled at the time.” Rather, Hameedi informed us that SVT realized that additional performance was required of the GT500 during Ford’s development and testing of the Boss 302. “We wanted to make a big step in performance,” he told us. “We didn’t just want to just make a marginal step.”

This isn’t too surprising, considering the Boss 302’s straight line performance is fairly close to that of the 2012 Shelby GT500. Motor Trend achieved a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds flat in a Boss 302, a nearly identical time to what a GT500 is capable of producing, and a stock Boss 302 has produced 1/4 mile times well into the 11s with just a set of drag radials.

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  • Phil says:

    The statements from the GM/Camaro engineer are laughable. There would be no such thing as a Camaro at all if it were not for the Mustang. Not in 1967 or in 2010. Mustang leads, Camaro follows. Innovators vs Imitators.

  • Damon says:

    2013 GT500 will still not match the technology and sophistication of the 2012 Camaro ZL1

    Like the pushrod V8 that has more displacement but makes less HP and TQ.

    I guess they do have a IRS to destroy once they put slicks on it.

  • Jon stanger_1986 says:

    Anyone with half a brain would have to be thinking about how will Ford make, or accuse me, Ford,Carrol Shelby and SVT build 4 distinctively different mustangs that will be separate mustangs that will give everybody in the market for a specific car that public will get everything that they want.
    1.Fantastic gas millage with style and horse power, the new V6 Eco boost.
    2.The second coming of the 5.0 that will give a shot in the arm the GT line giving a nod to beloved 302 of the the 80’s-90’s fox’.
    3.The greatly anticipated return of a legend and the so apply named Boss 302. Witch people who now the lineage of the Trans-am beast from 69 to 70 knew that there was some big shoes to fill and was the reason for ridged and down right abusive testing and tuning in the road racing circuits. Insuring that the legend isn’t a dud.
    4.The Shelby GT500, that has a truly well established stable of constantly evolving terror’s to the brand X line ups. With the 5.4 being pumped to its limits in years before that was only going to give a limited bump above the new Boss 302. So of course the next step would logically be a new engine block.
    So obviously Chevy has a big fat head and mouth to match by saying that the ZL1 was reason for the new 5.8L. What an ego.
    Simply identifying that a change had to be made because of recognizing that you can’t have two products made for performance one must have an edge over the other.
    Simply put,the Goof who started the rumor truly have shown that they have no knowledge of simple industry product logic. Sad,just sad. O well, at least it shows that GM is still looking for “the answer” to the superior mustang line up. Their Camaro’s can’t make smoke thick enough to not see through that load of misinformation.

  • Mike says:

    Im an old dude and i cant believe the cars that are out their for us to buy, i thought it was all over years ago for performance cars but they just keep coming, chevy ford chrysler its all good

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