Following the release of the 2014 Camaro Z/28's pricing ($75,000), the initial response was nothing short of outrage that it was vastly overpriced. While this does make it pricey for something under the Camaro brand, I submit to you that it is the ultimate track car and there is no comparison. Recent track tests have proven that even the most well-built hot rod cannot compete with millions of dollars worth of R&D. So let me break down a few comparable GM combinations, ignoring older models, which would have to be purchased used and not a fair comparison. Hopefully we can put these cars head-to-head on the track some day. By checking off the right options and putting in a little elbow grease you can build a similar Camaro or Corvette, but it's going to cost you.
Ed note: the 2015 Corvette Z06 has also been left off this list, as pricing is not known at this time. Should it be within a striking distance, we’d also add it to the discussion. If you are curious how the Z/28 stacks up against other supercars, check out Motor Trend's comparison track test.
Built 2014 Camaro 1LE w/ factory Recaro seats
Initial Price: $36,501
Investment: $25,740 (parts only)
Includes: Mast Motorsports 630hp wet-sump LS7 crate engine, Mast ECM tuning, GM ZL1 brake upgrade, Toyo R888 R-compound tires, MTI Racing coilovers, MTI Racing sway bars, weight removal
Result: Assuming no labor costs, this is one of the cheapest options. Unfortunately, though, it will be significantly slower – less grip, less braking, and more weight. On the plus side it does make more power, but the factory rear end, oiling, and cooling systems are suspect. With zero warranty that is a risky proposition. And should you not have the ability to build this car yourself, you'll be spending as much if not more than the Z/28 with labor costs.
Built 2014 Camaro ZL1 w/ factory Recaro seats
Initial Price: $59,645
Includes: Lingenfelter 700+hp package, Lingenfelter intercooler upgrades, Toyo R888 R-compound tires, weight removal
Result: Even with LPE building and tuning a ZL1 to over 620-rwhp, it will still be slower than a Z/28. Why? Weight. You simply can’t make the ZL1 light enough to compete. And the R888s on the factory 20s won’t provide nearly as much grip, nor will the 14.6-inch brakes keep up with the carbon pieces.
Built 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 w/ Competition seats
Initial Price: $60,490
Includes: Lingenfelter 600hp package, Toyo R888 R-compound tires
Result: With LPE’s camshaft, intake, and ported heads it ups the ante significantly on the C7, giving it the power to overtake the Z/28 on straightaways. But will it be enough? The Corvette does have a weight advantage, but will it overcome the decrease in braking and grip? We’ve never tested R-compound tires with the new tire pressure/temperature sensitive ABS computer, but assuming it is an improvement it should at least challenge the Z/28.