Wait, Seriously? Let me read that title again. GT3, okay, that makes sense. Z28, yep, I read that right. Are they crazy? Does the Z28 really have any business going up against the GT3 in a one-on-one? The GT3 is an agile ninja to the Z28’s bulldozer. This is a peregrine falcon versus an ostrich. This comparison is the age old scalpel versus sledgehammer. Both cars are stripped down and focused on extremely quick lap times at the track and an engaging driving experience on the road, but they attack the problems in very different ways. The Z28 has seven liters of V8 under the hood, while the GT3 makes similar power from 3.8 liters of flat-six in the back. The metric that Motor Trend likes to throw around in their video involving these two is that the GT3 makes its peak torque at a higher RPM than the Z28 makes its peak horsepower, which says a lot about the character of the two cars.
The thing about the Z28 is that it is sophisticated by Camaro standards, but doesn’t hold a candle to the GT3, which is sophisticated by Porsche standards. The Camaro has magnetic ride shock absorbers, and the widest front tires of any production vehicle, which help it get around a track quickly. The GT3 has all of Porsche’s engineering prowess behind it, including trick suspension, rear wheel steering, aerodynamic tweaks, and even active engine mounts. Does it make sense to compare the Z28 to the GT3? Well, they are both considered to be built as track-going weapons, and the Z28 has proven capable of track work, but it’s not quite GT3 quick, and it certainly isn’t GT3 good. It is doubtful that there are many cross-shopping the Z28 with the GT3. Personally, I’m interested in seeing these cars compete with each other in 15 years. While Porsche GT3 owners understand the importance of a good tire and will likely shoe their car with the newest and best Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, I worry that more than a few Z28s will be trotted into a Pep Boys and instructions will be given to ‘gimme the cheapest thing that fits’. The GT3 is the high school track star that continues training and gets better with age. The Z28 seems to me to be the high school football star that gives up on training when the college scouts get bored with him. Sure, it does a pretty great job now, but when it loses its edge, is it going to be a disappointment?
This is an exceptionally pretty video, and the production level is pretty high. You get to see them jump a GT3 at about 16:45, and its worth watching just for that. Watch it and see what Motor Trend has to say about the cars. Carlos Lago drives both, and gives his impressions, then he hands the keys off to professional hot-shoe Randy Pobst for a lap each around Willow Springs. Go see for yourself if the quarterback can keep up with the sprinter. In a GT3 Vs Z28 battle, who do you think will win?
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