Corvette vs. Camaro – Which Chevrolet Muscle Car Comes Out On Top?

It’s not often that Chevrolet’s pinnacle muscle car, the Corvette, is compared directly with it’s younger bother, the Camaro. A distinct pricing difference and target market makes it an apples to oranges comparison that many would not consider fair. After all, considering that the Camaro has a backseat, it can more often be considered a sporty passenger car or coupe rather than a strictly sports racer like the Corvette. However, with two passionate fan bases, comparisons are only natural, so we’ll look into them here.

First, when it comes to raw horsepower, the top of the line Corvette obviously takes home the bacon with it’s superior ZL1 line. If price is not a matter of concern, then the contest goes not further. But, when you play around at the same price point the Camaro SS with it’s 425 hp is only 30 behind the base Corvette, but for $20,000 less! Is 30 horsepower worth $20,000? Not hardly. Let’s move on.

When it comes to exterior and interior styling, the new C7 Corvette wins the battle without much discussion. But, this is primarily due to the fact that it has been recently remodeled by the design team a Chevy and uses the latest trends. Additionally, they learned from the interior mistakes of previous generations and were determined to elevate the class of the newest models. On the other hand, with the current Camaro generation now sitting at 5 years old, there is a good chance that a refresh is coming soon in the not too distant future. With a fresh model, the Camaro could easily turn the tide in one giant swoop. After all, the 2009 Camaro styling and design was years ahead of the often criticized styling of the C6 Corvette when it came out, especially the interior and dash. Don’t put it past the Camaro team to do it again.

We’ve already touched a bit on the pricing per horsepower ration, but this is the area where personal preference decides if the Corvette takes home the victory. The low end Camaros can be purchased by the every day consumer with their sub $30,000 base models. This price point makes them very accessible to the general public and a familiar site on the roadways. The styling difference between the base models and higher end SS bodies is there, but it is small. The Corvette and it’s near $60,000 base price puts it in the hands of only those who truly can afford an elite class super sports car. In reality the Corvette is actually at the bottom of the pricing tier for the class of car that it competes with (Ferrarri, Porsche, Dodge Viper, etc.) Still, it is this final pricing factor that separates the hordes of muscle car fans into their respective classes. Those with the money for a Corvette almost always go that route. The others will choose the model of Camaro that fits their budget and then living happily with a beloved new sports car.

In the used market, the tide can shift as Corvette’s can become more price permissive than the new models. Later year models in a specific generation can often be had at reasonable discounts since buyers are more included to spend the extra money for the next generation. This was particularly true with the 2004 Corvette and will likely be the case with the 2013’s as well. On the Camaro side, a used Camaro can fall anywhere in the ballpark depending on the condition and mileage. Just recently we spotted a 1991 Camaro with less than 10k miles, and at a price many would consider reasonable. It was immaculate, where other 1991’s are one step from the junk yard.

In conclusion, the comparisons may rage on between these two Chevrolet brothers for many years, but the bottom line will almost always boil down to the budget of the buyer. While emotional connections or personal preferences may factor in, it’s hard to find a buyer with the money for a Corvette that would choose a Camaro instead. The king of Chevy muscle cars still reigns supreme.

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