The Great Horsepower Wars: GM vs. Ford

2010 Camaro

There’s a war raging in Detroit!

Ford and General Motors are trading jabs, each trying to one-up the other in a quest to be the fastest and most powerful. It’s the classic spirit of competition: Each wants bragging rights for having the cars and trucks with the most power, torque, and miles per gallon. It’s seriously entertaining to watch, especially when the numbers come down to a single digit of difference.

Just as one automaker announces a new engine with class-leading numbers, the other has a trick up its sleeve to retake the lead.

2011 GMC Sierra HD Denali

GM may be pretty, but Ford should have 'em out-muscled

Back in February, Ford officially revealed the power numbers for its all-new, in-house-designed 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel: 390 horsepower and 735 lb-ft of torque. At the time, those numbers were best-in-class. Now GM has announced the numbers for its revised 6.6-liter Duramax: 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque.

Do you think for a minute that Ford will sit back and let GM claim better numbers? Not a chance!

According to, the potential power from Ford’s 6.7-liter mill could be tweaked to over 400 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, numbers that GM would be hard-pressed to beat with the aging Duramax. Better still, the only change needed to achieve the power bump would be a software upgrade to the Ford’s computer.

For people who truly need heavy-duty trucks, the more power the better. This round goes to Ford!

But wait, behemoth trucks aren’t the only boxers in the ring.

2011 Ford Mustang

Will the Mustang V6 keep its horsepower crown?

The Camaro versus Mustang fight has been raging for 40-some years and seriously heating up in the last couple. The V6 Camaro nabbed serious press time when it first launched, offering a then class-leading 304 horsepower and an impressive 29 highway miles per gallon.

Ford barely upped the ante, though, with the 2011 Mustang, wrangling a slightly more impressive 305 horsepower and 31 miles per gallon out of its V6.

I have a feeling it won’t take much for Chevy to find two more horses and a couple more mpg buried in the Camaro in order to retake bragging rights. In fact, Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette marketing manager John Fitzpatrick hinted to Automobile Magazine that the Mustang’s horsepower lead may be short-lived.

When asked if Chevrolet would respond to the Mustang’s numbers in the next few years, Fitzpatrick said, “You might see it sooner than that.” He also said to expect details on the 2011 Camaro in the next few weeks.

We’ll be anxiously waiting, though I really don’t think an extra pony or two will send any Mustang fanatics to a Chevy dealership.

What do you think: Does having best-in-class horsepower and miles per gallon influence which vehicle you buy, or are you more of a brand-loyal buyer?


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  1. @

    You can’t be serious. Anyone can be faster, better and have high horsepower. It only takes money…and it doesn’t matter what brand you have.

  2. I’m a Ford truck guy, but I have to admit that the Duramax is one heck of a motor. a Dodge Ram SRT-10 will crap over any Ford F -150..add a supercharger on a SRT and 700+ H.P !! Beats a Ford 5.4 supercharged anyday !! Yes,I know the SRT is no longer made,but it is the fastest production truck ever. mustang also has better speed and good average mileage

  3. 304 versus 305 hp? I mean, what is more ridiculous than that? Nobody, no carmaker, ever won a horsepower war, even if they think they did.

  4. I’m more interested in knowing that my car will run reliably for a long time, maintain some resale value, and provide a safe, fun driving experience than in having a particular brand or model. But until the recent Toyota recalls, Japanese companies focused on and pretty much owned the crown for reliability and resale value, while American companies generally seemed way more focused on power and speed numbers. Nice to see U.S. makers increasingly concerned about reliability and mileage.

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