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Old 07-22-2020, 02:19 PM   #15
Drives: 2020 RGM ZL1
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: CA
Posts: 21
I just went through a similar purchase decision. Went with the ZL1 because of the purported engine issues on the Fords. Also, my buddy has owned mustangs for the past two generations and had to replace the engine and tranny on both of his cars within the warranty period. Like thats great it was within the warranty period so Ford techs only gave him a moderate amount of shit to do the work, but between his experiences and what I heard on the gt350 from the community, I went with the ZL1. I do like those carbon fiber wheels, though. To be fair, I didn't drive either of them before buying. The Camaro arrives on Saturday after months of waiting
'20 ZL1 Rally Green Metallic
-work in progress

'06 GTO Spice Red (RIP)
-Full Pedders, K&N, Ported TB, FAST Manifold, SW Exhaust, Stoptech Brakes, DBA5000XS

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Old 07-22-2020, 02:39 PM   #16
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Drives: ZL1
Join Date: May 2020
Location: CT
Posts: 78
Where to start? I driven both, both amazing.
The look of the GT350R is very special and in my opinion nothing sounds better on the road.
Everything else is better on the Chevy. The Zl1 chassis is far more advanced and you feel it in the steering which I found a lot more precise when pushing the car hard.
The Mustang interior seems ancient compare to the Camaro. More toque, more power and much better cooling, some have reported overheating and oil consumption with the 350R.
Now that the oil pump failures have been solved I don't see any major issues on ZL1's.
Also GM will honor warranty when used on track as long as no modification were made..which is unprecedented.
Back then I couldn't find a Mustang without a dealer premium meanwhile I got a generous discount from my Chevy dealership which made my decision a no brainer.
But again, this is Camaro forum and we might be slightly biased
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:10 PM   #17
Drives: 2016 Dodge Charger SCAT
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: ATL
Posts: 53
Thanks, you guys are great! Now...need to convince the wife.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:13 PM   #18
Drives: Zl1 1le
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Midwest
Posts: 166
BTW - is this primarily a track car, daily driver or weekend toy?
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:43 PM   #19
Bow Tie Fanatic
Drives: 2018 Mosaic Black Metallic ZL1 A10
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: NC
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by racer01 View Post
I owned a 2018 GT350 and now have a 19' ZL1. Just a few quick points, but both are really fun cars but obviously I like the ZL1 quite a bit better.

1. I'll try to be objective on other non reliability items. My GT350 threw a rod through the block with 1800 miles on it. Before that my thermostat stuck wide open and splitter came off (improperly installed by dealer) during the first track day. I did two laps at VIR when the rod came through the block. This motor has some serious reliability issues...oil filters coming off, burning massive amounts of oil, oil pumps failing, cam bearings, etc. Hope Chevrolet gets the FPC motor in the Z06 done properly, as this is a fun motor design, but Ford just didn't get it right.
2. Transmission in the ZL1 is much better shifting, and rev matching is really nice. 650 hp is noticeably faster as you would expect, and quite a bit more torquey than the 5.2 NA overhead cam ford motor.
3. GT350 engine has more "character" and is really unique and feels special. Not much torque however, especially in 6th gear. Sounds really good.
4. I don't really get the visibility complaints in the ZL1. Not great, but not as big of deal as I keep reading in all the magazine reviews.
5. Chevrolet backs their cars for track use. Not heard of any warranty issues for stock cars being tracked. ZL1 brakes pads are more durable for track use out of the box. PDR, e-diff, and track modes of traction control and active handling are quite superior for track use.
6. ZL1 Recaro's are way more comfortable and easy to get in and out of than GT350 Recaro. GT350 Recaro were too narrow and I am 5'11" and 180lbs.
7. Tramlining (follow grooves in road) is horrible in GT350, and non existent in ZL1. ZL1 is much better as daily driver for me...better stereo, air conditioned seats, better backup camera, better NAV, etc.

I still would love to have a GT350. Great car, and truly unique feeling to drive. Motor is something special, and car just really feels and sounds good. I have had over 50 cars however, and the reliability was really uniquely special as the worst of anything I have ever owned. I traded the day after I got it back after waiting 2+ months for a new motor to be put in with no loaner car. Local Ford dealer also refused to fix the splitter and thermostat when I brought it to local dealer before motor blew. Splitter because it was installed at another dealer, and thermostat because they re-set check engine light and it didn't immediately come back on. CEL came on a day later and I installed a thermostat myself just to avoid the horrible dealer experience.
I was at VIR when that happened to you and felt horrible seeing your car sitting by the bridge overpass and you not getting to have any fun those 2 days. Im glad you got that behind you and now have a ZL1. Good write up btw. There are several ZL1s going to ViR for the Chin (Oct) and Audi Club (Nov). Let me know if youre interested. The more Zs the better.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:48 PM   #20
Mark R
Drives: 2018 ZL-1
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 704
Originally Posted by Joe603 View Post
Thanks, you guys are great! Now...need to convince the wife.
Don't ask for permission. Do it and ask for forgiveness.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:05 PM   #21
Captain J
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Drives: 2017 V6 RS Covertible
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 136
Originally Posted by Joe603 View Post
Hey guys, I know I'm in a ZL1 forum, but most of those who can afford a ZL1 are capable of rational discussion. So...my next vehicle will be a manual. I was only looking at the ZL1, but the wife likes the Shelby's. What do you guys think? I don't think I can do the GT500...maybe in a year or so used. But the GT350 and ZL1 are attainable.

I've seen some videos...read some online stuff about both cars, seems the interior of the ZL1 is a bit nicer, but the exhaust of the GT350 is magnificent...Thoughts?
You're going about this all wrong, take it from a guy that's been married 42 yrs. Read what you wrote then think about it for a minute..."but the wife likes the Shelby's". You seem like an intelligent guy. I'm sure you'll make the right decision.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:08 PM   #22
Rock-It Man
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Drives: 2010 Camaro 2SS A6
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Location: MA
Posts: 3,682
The Ford engines have a sputtered-on steel coating on the cylinder walls instead of a steel sleeve.

No thanks, Ford.
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:50 PM   #23
Drives: 19' ZL1
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Aiken, SC
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by Bow Tie Fanatic View Post
I was at VIR when that happened to you and felt horrible seeing your car sitting by the bridge overpass and you not getting to have any fun those 2 days. Im glad you got that behind you and now have a ZL1. Good write up btw. There are several ZL1s going to ViR for the Chin (Oct) and Audi Club (Nov). Let me know if youre interested. The more Zs the better.
Wow...yeah that was a bad weekend. Had a few cars since then, and had a 2020 Supra at VIR last, but finally getting the ZL1 there in a few weeks with Trackdaze on Aug 10th-11th. Super excited to get the ZL1 on track and VIR is such a great place for this type of car. I'll definitely look into Chin or Audi as things cool off later in the year...best time to be at VIR!
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:54 PM   #24
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Drives: 19 ZLE M6 Red Hot
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 59
I cross shopped GT350 and ZLE and went with ZLE. Interior of the mustang felt incredibly cheap and prone to squicks, steering wheel felt like I was driving an old trolley, like really big, no HUD, recaro seats felt way too much, infotainment was average, i prefer older sync 2 version, mustang is everywhere and do not feel special at all, but the sound was nice tho. But biggest issue was engine reliability
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:05 PM   #25
Drives: 2019 ZLE, 2019 GT350R
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Denver
Posts: 26
Also consider that you came to the Camaro forum to get input on comparison between the two cars. Most of what you see above is driven in part by confirmation bias, Camaro owners telling you the Camaro is better. Go over to the Mustang6G forum and you will hear from Mustang owners telling you about how the GT350 is FAR better. I know a few other members in this forum have both. It would be nice to hear from them. I frankly don’t see much difference between the two cars in interior quality, infotainment, chassis, suspension, transmission, tires, etc. Each is somewhat unique and has its own merits but neither is perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to steer you towards the GT350. I’m just saying maybe don’t decide to get a Camaro because someone with a Camaro says the Camaro is better.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:46 PM   #26
Drives: ZL1/1LE parts added
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Somewhere around Texas pines tress and smooth asphalt
Posts: 496
All great advice, especially from those that own both. I would look at it from the perspective if I could only buy one high performance sports car in my life, and frankly the ZL1/1LE is a bargain for a budget minded person, see women driven on you tube, GT350 blown motor, she has a ZL1 and a hellcat. There's a guy a few miles from me with a gorgeous GT350 black with blue stripes grass is half way up the car, same issue I imagine. And dont forget there was a law suit about the over heating rear ends in the 350R, I know we are taking ZL1 vs GT350 , but even the C7 Z06 especially in auto is a pile of problems, manly the overheating , I would never buy one . Who here would spend 60-100K for a car if you knew it was going to break down? My ZL1 uses a quart of oil between oil changes if I run it pretty good on some back road curves, besides that I agree with everything else said, maybe the previous owner didn't break it in right, maybe it just uses oil. I'm happy toque every where , the GT350 has fantastic but scary brakes, real sensitive to the touch/foot, and you really haft to rev it up, and maybe a better resale value if it holds up ! Best of luck to you on your choice !
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:36 PM   #27
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Drives: 2020 Supra 2018 ZL1 1LE
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: AZ
Posts: 258
Had both... ZL1 hands down... the GT350/R sounds amazing... but just doesn't 'daily' as nice as the ZL1... and is gutless under 4K rpm... have to zing it to get it to really become enjoyable... and then it becomes obnoxious on the street.

ZL1 at part throttle feels great... and at full throttle is in a completely different league.

You won't regret the ZL1...

And this is tough coming from a mustang guy.

Best regards,
2020 Hertz Hendricks Motorsports Callaway ZL1 1LE
SCCA & NASA Competitor
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:18 PM   #28
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Drives: '19 ZLE, S54 E36M3
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: North Augusta, SC
Posts: 225
I tried to buy a GT350 in December, (in spite of also being there when Racer01 had his engine let go) but we were too far apart on the money. Ended up with a used 134 mile ZLE for less money, and better suited for the track. The difference in available torque for street driving is huge. Didn’t realize how much I would appreciate the auto-blip (not available on the 350) and the air conditioned seats. Getting soft in my old age.
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