1987 Camaro IROC-Z vs. Fox Body Mustang

Why the Mustang GT Outpaced the Corvette IROC-Z: Steve Magnante Explains

In the early eighties, the clash of the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang as muscle cars reached its peak. As a result of the historic oil crisis of the preceding decade, there was an increase in demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Consequently, Chevrolet made the Camaro lighter by 500 lbs. In 1985, they made it even more attractive by introducing the IROC-Z performance package, and in 1987, availablilty of the Corvette’s 350 cu. inch V8 was given as an option.

This more slim, nimble Camaro could have certainly ended the static between the Bow Tie and the Blue Oval 3rd-gen muscle vehicles. Nonetheless, as YouTuber Steve Magnante elucidates in the video, there’s more to this tale than merely engine volume.

Heart of a Corvette

Travelling through a scrapyard in Bernardston, Massachusetts, Magnante explored the features that made the Chevy Camaro IROC-Z so successful. He pointed out the 350 cu. in. V8 engine which was exactly the same as that of the Corvette and was capable of providing 250 horsepower and a remarkable 330 lb-ft of torque.

The Australian Borg-Warner rear-axle was advantageous. It featured a four-pinion, 7.75-inch differential, transferring a greater amount of torque to the vehicle’s backside compared to the general 7.25-inches. Besides that, it boasted 16-inch rims, extensive disc brakes and a T-top.

Among the 5.7L V8 and the Borg-Warner rear axle, the IROC-Z provided 25hp and 45 lb-ft of torque in comparison to the Fox Body Mustang. Even so, Chevy had the potential to modify certain aspects to optimize its performance.

At first, Magnante emphasizes that the Camaro heads were made of iron whereas Corvette’s cylinder heads were constructed from aluminum, offering about 25 to 30 pounds weight saving per head.

Conversely, the exhaust manifold of the IROC-Z was composed of iron logs Cvompared to the stainless steel tubing of the Corvette. This discrepancy in weight could have come aid to the Camaro, still approximately 300 pounds heavier than its counterpart, the Mustang.

Whilst the Camaro and C4 Corvette included tuned port injection, GM opted to apply the same adjustment to both IROC-Z’s 305 and 350 power plants. Additionally, the sole option for transmission with the 350 motor was a 4-speed automatic chief among which was predetermined sluggishness in transition.

In conclusion, the 5.0 liter V8 Ford Mustang evidently had an advantage in acceleration, running 0-60 track runs at 6 seconds, compared to the Camaro’s 6.4 seconds. Still, the Camaro managed to save face by accomplishing a 14.43 second quarter mile, while the Mustang lagged behind at 14.64 seconds.

Though the 1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z was fast and managed adeptly, it’s nearly inconceivable not to contemplate the colossal entity that it might have been with a slight number of modifications to the design.

YouTube is a great platform for car-lovers. Its video library is filled with a wide selection of car content, including reviews, comparisons, and demonstrations. Still, the majority of this content focuses on classic cars. Fewer videos feature new, custom, or modified vehicles. YouTube is an awesome resource for auto aficionados. Its video database is overflowing with a varied diversity of motor vehicle related material, such as analyses, contrasts, and demos. Notwithstanding, much of this material centers around vintage autos. There are significantly fewer videos that focus on recent, specifically crafted, or modified vehicles.

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