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Old 09-15-2021, 10:51 AM   #1
455bhp
 
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SS 1LE vs AMG GT S

Hi all,

I'm an AMG GT S and CTS-V wagon owner but I adore the sixth-gen Camaros and I've considered buying one many times. I recently got a lengthy test drive in a 2019 SS 1LE on my favorite mountain roads, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on the SS 1LE vs AMG GT S!

(My full writeup of the test drive is on my blog.)

Front-end: Both cars have fantastic front-end grip and minimal body roll. The GT S turns in more eagerly thanks to its lighter steering resistance and faster steering ratio. But the SS 1LEís 285/30R20 front tires are 20mm wider than the GT Sís, so the 1LE could have more grip.
Tie

Brakes: Research on the forums suggests the 1LEís brakes are track-ready out of the box, whereas the GT Sís steel brakes need cooling and pad upgrades to keep from fading. (Iíve been okay on stock GT S hardware so far, but Iíve been driving less taxing tracks.) Both cars are completely capable in the canyons.
Win: Camaro

Engine: When fitted with the sports exhaust, the Camaroís LT1 sings glorious (and varied) songs up and down its rev range. The naturally aspirated V8 has the immediate reactions of an electric motor yet climactically builds power to the redline. On the other hand, the GT S barks a monotone baritone belt at all times and delivers as much thrust at 3k RPM as it does at 6k RPM. I thank the twin turbos for the GT Sís greatly superior thrust, but blame them for the slightly dulled throttle response. I also appreciate that the GT S can be run quietly, without overrun burbles, while the SS 1LE cannot.
Tie

Chassis: Both cars have rock-solid bodies that let their suspensions do their best work. But the Camaro SS 1LEís magnetic ride control is far better at delivering a comfortable ride. The GT S rides firmly, with jitters, no matter what mode itís in! Both chassis are capable and confidence-inspiring at the limits. Both condone track driving.
Win: Camaro

Steering: The steering in the GT S ceaselessly hums with tire and suspension feedback. Itís as smooth and slick as a mayonnaise-coated cucumber, yet as loquacious as an inebriated African Grey parrot. Both cars are free of tram lining, but the GT Sís light steering resistance and quick ratio can make it flighty at highway speeds. The Camaro SS 1LEís steering has commendable pace and feelÖfor EPAS. Bumps and some road texture bubble up through the helm. But the steering resistance is overly heavy in Sport and Track modes.
Win: GT S

Transmission: Now Iím really comparing apples to oranges. The Camaroís 6-speed manual is stout and satisfying, with tight throws and clear gates. Its rev-matching program eases the burden of downshifting under heavy braking and even makes stop-and-go commuting a breeze. The GT S, on the other hand, uses a snappy DCT for lightning shifts and is equally adept at (automatically) picking gears on a racetrack or swapping cogs in traffic.
Tie

Cabin: The 2SS is the Camaroís luxury package, and it adds cooled seats, ambient lighting, a pleather glove box covering, padded door cards, and blind-spot monitoring. Yet, the Camaro is far from luxurious: Hollow plastics litter the doors and dash, the crotch-high vents and tilted navigation screen are awkward, and the homely steering wheel wonít win any contests. The seats are mostly comfortableÖunless you want adjustable lumbar support, which I did. In contrast, the GT S has a gorgeous interior thatís dripping with fine leather, aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber. But itís dated: thereís no HUD, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and the infotainment system is low-resolution. Its seats are highly adjustable but also firm and cramped. Still, itís a luxury car experience in the GT S and a rental car experience in the Camaro SS.
Win: GT S

Rear-end: With good tires in the drive wheels, both cars are locked to the pavement and easily handle their copious power outputs. Their e-differentials make mincemeat of twisty roads. They are trustworthy steeds that wonít suddenly spit you sideways.
Tie

Cargo capacity: The Camaroís small trunk can be enlarged by folding down the rear seats. (Or you can just throw the luggage on the back seats!) While its trunk canít swallow a full-size spare, it can be loaded with a jack and a large toolbox. The GT S canít even fit the toolbox! Youíll have to unpack the essential tools and lay them in the GT Sís shallow trunk if you plan on torquing your lug nuts at the track. Back seats? Ha! The GT S has none.
Win: Camaro

Exterior styling: The Camaro is wedgy and aggressive, a clear statement of mean-tempered power. The GT S melds aggression with elegance, evoking the iconic sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s yet reminding you of AMGís current might. Random strangers will send kudos and questions at the GT S, while the Camaro will mostly receive disapproving scowls from pedestrians with bleeding eardrums.
Win: GT S



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Old 09-15-2021, 11:15 AM   #2
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Welcome to the group. That is a hell of a first post.

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Old 09-15-2021, 12:04 PM   #3
Nothing like an SS
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Nice comparison review!!!
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:02 PM   #4
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That GT S is one BEAUTIFUL, high performing car, but, in addition to the factors in the post, let's not forget the value per dollar factor.
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Old 09-15-2021, 02:06 PM   #5
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Very detailed and straightforward review, thank you for the contribution

I disagree with the exterior styling comments, but I know these are probably the most subjective elements, so there's probably no point in trying to discuss differing tastes in this thread.

Last, but definitely not least, to the forums.
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx9rmal View Post
That GT S is one BEAUTIFUL, high performing car, but, in addition to the factors in the post, let's not forget the value per dollar factor.
New for new, I hear you on the Camaro's value! But I got my GT S for $67k used, so I feel like there was a fair bit of value there too! (Though admittedly, buying a cheap GT S was a rollercoaster for me. Let's just say, buy from Vroom with extreme skepticism. Story here.)
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arpad_m View Post
I disagree with the exterior styling comments...
Thanks! Glad to be here!

Yeah, the Camaro and GT S are apples to oranges in the styling department. They are both striking cars, and will get you looking back as you walk away! I could be wrong, but I feel like there's more broad appeal to the GT S's styling, and the Camaro mainly appears to the gearhead crowd.
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:47 PM   #8
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The GT-S driving position is pretty much at the rear axle, whereas the Camaro is about mid-car. Just an interesting difference.
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
The GT-S driving position is pretty much at the rear axle, whereas the Camaro is about mid-car. Just an interesting difference.

I always thought GT-S is like driving a phallus. Perhaps its the rear seating position.


Like a 911 in reverse?
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Osbornsm View Post
I always thought GT-S is like driving a phallus. Perhaps its the rear seating position.


Like a 911 in reverse?
Hah! I have to agree with you on the shape of the car...

The GT S seating position is more like the flip of a mid-engine car, say a C8 Corvette. In both the C8 and AMG GT S the driver and the engine are in between the axles, but in the C8 the driver is ahead of the engine. The GT S does a great job of shoving its engine behind the front axle.

I actually got to test the C8 vs GT S too.

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Old 09-16-2021, 07:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 455bhp View Post
The GT S seating position is more like the flip of a mid-engine car, say a C8 Corvette. In both the C8 and AMG GT S the driver and the engine are in between the axles,
Naw, it seems like in the GT-S the driver is damn near OVER the rear axle, not "between" the axles. I mean, literally every car has the driver between the axles somewhere, closer to the front, the rear, in between, but the GT-S really seems to push the driver as far rearward as possible, perhaps like you say to get that mid-front-engine setup, but very radical compared to almost all other cars, whether they are mid, front-mid, front, etc.

I'd like to drive it to see what it feels like to be in that position, seemingly "driving from the rear".

Oh, I see what you are saying now with the layout...but I don't really agree, the C8 would need to push the engine and driver way more forward to be the "flip" of this IMO.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
Naw, it seems like in the GT-S the driver is damn near OVER the rear axle, not "between" the axles. I mean, literally every car has the driver between the axles somewhere, closer to the front, the rear, in between, but the GT-S really seems to push the driver as far rearward as possible...

I'd like to drive it to see what it feels like to be in that position, seemingly "driving from the rear".
Ah, yes, you are right. The GT S is strange to have you sitting so close to the rear axle. Here is what it feels like.

1) When you hit a bump, you feel it when the rear tires cover it rather than the fronts. (Imagine road impacts from the back seat of a sports sedan.) 2) When you navigate parking lots, you don't need to worry so much anymore about curbing the rear wheels, because you know exactly where they are. 3) In the same parking lots, you are going to smash the front splitter into the parking blocks. 4) Obviously, there's lots of hood out the windscreen.

Otherwise, the rearward seating doesn't change the way you drive or experience the car much.

However, I Googled some blueprints and the C6/C7 Corvette has a pretty similar seat placement. Maybe you've driven one of them?



https://www.supramkv.com/attachments...-2014-png.7261



https://i.pinimg.com/originals/63/4c...c4d48eee37.jpg
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 455bhp View Post
New for new, I hear you on the Camaro's value! But I got my GT S for $67k used, so I feel like there was a fair bit of value there too! (Though admittedly, buying a cheap GT S was a rollercoaster for me. Let's just say, buy from Vroom with extreme skepticism. Story here.)
Not too surprised with your Vroom experience. Selling to them seems to be a lot easier than buying. They bought my 1LE, had some rock chips and a minor ding on the drivers door. When they finally got it listed I saw they managed to curb rash a wheel, put a dent in the trunk and a couple extra scratches.
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Old Yesterday, 10:52 PM   #14
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Not too surprised with your Vroom experience. Selling to them seems to be a lot easier than buying. They bought my 1LE, had some rock chips and a minor ding on the drivers door. When they finally got it listed I saw they managed to curb rash a wheel, put a dent in the trunk and a couple extra scratches.
I'm curious - did you give them two keys when you sold them the car? I've never seen a single Vroom listing with two keys! I'm convinced they are throwing out the second keys for some unknown reason!
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