Although the early 1990s saw many advancements in automotive technology, some enthusiasts would rather shake the earth with big block power than rev their small block high and loud.
Big Block Definition
The Chevrolet “big block” is any W-series or Mk IV big block V8, including the 409, 427, 402, 454 and 502. Ford big blocks are generally considered as any engine in the Lima, FE or Cleveland V8 engine family. This includes the 351C, 427 Cobra Jet and 460 iron-block truck engine.
The Chevrolet ZL1 concept car and 1994 10.0L Mustang Boss concept prove that a big block will indeed fit in either of these chassis. While the ZL1 was built in 2000, all Camaros produced from 1993 to 2002 are mechanically identical; as such, the ZL1 is comparable to a 1994 Camaro. One thing to note, though, is that the 572 cubic inch big block that Chevrolet installed in the ZL1 Concept was a “short deck” motor; the more common and physically larger “tall deck” motor won’t fit under the stock hood of a fourth generation Camaro.
The Mustang is about 100 pounds lighter than the Camaro, but its short wheelbase won’t work as well with the torquey big block as the Camaro’s longer wheelbase. While the Mustang would have slightly better weight distribution than the Camaro, its short wheelbase would make the Mustang unpredictable and dangerous to drive. The Camaro’s aerodynamic advantage will also allow it to deliver the same quarter mile performance as a Mustang with far more power.
Comparing the specs of the heavier and less powerful (770 horsepower) ZL1 Camaro Concept to the lighter and more powerful (855 horsepower) Mustang Boss Concept is very revealing of the two chassis potential. The short wheelbase Mustang runs a super-quick 1.9 seconds 0-60 mph compared to the Camaro’s 2.7 seconds. However, the less powerful but more stable and more aerodynamic Camaro runs a quicker 10.4 seconds through the quarter mile compared to the Mustang’s 10.55 seconds.