Battle of the 2010 Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger: Which is the Most Green?


Photo via: Dodge Challenger1

We talk a lot about electric cars and hybrids here on Treehugger and Planet Green, but there are those of us who still crave the rumble and nostalgia of the good old American Muscle Car. While they may not be as clean as a Toyota Prius, the new production muscle car has come a long way since their hay-days of the 60's and 70's.

We've still got several years until zero emissions sports cars such as the Tesla Roadster become affordable enough for the average consumer, so until then, if you want to go fast, your options are limited. While there are a lot of great examples of gasoline sports cars out there, today we are interested in the great American rivalry of the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and the Dodge Challenger...It has been four decades since the Big Three clashed heads, each with a powerful muscle car out on the market. They are all looking mean, have plenty of steam... but which one is the most green!

To score these vehicles, we will be looking at their fuel economy, pollution/greenhouse gas scores, and level of toxins found in the interior.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro-

Photo via: Gumby_Mac72
Fuel Economy (City/Highway)
3.6 liter V-6 (304 horsepower): 18/29
6.2 liter V-8 (426 horsepower): 16/26

Air Pollution (1 Worst/ 10 Best)
3.6 liter V-6: Score 6
6.2 liter V-8: Score 7

Greenhouse Gases (1 worst/ 10 Best)
3.6 liter V-6: Score 5
6.2 liter V-8: Score 5

Interior Toxins (0-1.25 low, 1.25-3.25 medium, 3.25- 5 high concern)
Since the 2010 Camaro has not been released for testing, I estimated its rating through three of GM's other current vehicles. The Cadillac CTS received a 1.1 (low concern), the Chevrolet Corvette received a 1.3 (low), and the Chevrolet Cobalt received a 0.8 (low). With these numbers in mind, it is safe to assume that the Camaro would be fairly low, somewhere in the range of 1.3 presumably (low concern).

2010 Ford Mustang-

Photo via: Tanjila
Fuel Economy (City/Highway)
4.0 liter V-6 (210 horsepower): 17/26
4.6 liter V-8 (315 horsepower): 15/23
5.4 liter V-8 (540 horsepower): 14/20

Air Pollution (1 Worst/ 10 Best)
4.0 liter V-6: Score 6
4.6 liter V-8: Score 6
5.4 liter V-8: Score 6

Greenhouse Gases (1 worst/ 10 Best)
4.0 liter V-6: Score 5
4.6 liter V-8: Score 4
5.4 liter V-8: Score 3

Interior Toxins (0-1.25 low, 1.25-3.25 medium, 3.25- 5 high concern)
2.3 (medium concern)
Mustang receives bonus points here for having the addition of soy-based seat foam, which is eco-friendly, renewable, and forms considerably less C02 through its production.

2010 Dodge Challenger-

Photo via: 3i's
Fuel Economy (City/Highway)
3.5 liter V-6 (250 horsepower): 17/25
5.7 liter V-8 (372 horsepower): 16/25
6.1 liter V-8 (425 horsepower): 13/19

Air Pollution (1 Worst/ 10 Best)
3.5 liter V-6: Score 6
5.7 liter V-8: Score 7
6.1 liter V-8: Score 6

Greenhouse Gases (1 worst/ 10 Best)
3.5 liter V-6: Score 5
5.7 liter V-8: Score 5
6.1 liter V-8: Score 2

Interior Toxins (0-1.25 low, 1.25-3.25 medium, 3.25- 5 high concern)
Once again there has been no testing on the Challenger as of yet. I estimated its rating through three of Chrysler's comparable vehicles. The Dodge Charger R/T received a 2.2 (medium concern), the Chrysler 300 received a 2.6 (medium), and the Chrysler 300 SRT-8 received a 3.1 (medium). With these numbers in mind, it is safe to assume that the Challenger would be within medium range, probably somewhere around 3.1 (medium).

And the winner is... by unanimous decision:

The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro -Besides the Camaro's great retro styling, sporty interior (exhibiting the least amount of toxic fumes), and refined exterior, it is actually fairly green for the massive amounts of horsepower it is putting down. If you are willing to settle for the V-6, it is actually capable of attaining better fuel economy than a few hybrids on the market, and as gasoline engines go, both the V-6 and V-8 are fairly clean running.

The Ford Mustang comes in second place, with mediocre fuel economy, pollution scores, and interior toxins. What is saving it from complete disaster is its lightweight chassis and small displacement engine (4.6 liters) compared to that of the the Challenger.

Not far behind is the Dodge Challenger, which like the Mustang has mediocre fuel economy for the V-6. Once you dip down into the high performance 6.1 liter however, the economy and greenhouse emissions fly right out the window! Let's just hope some of those toxic interior fumes are headed out that way too...

More green cars
Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1... Mean, Yes, but Green?
Tesla Model S Electric Car: 300 Miles Range, Seats 5+2, 0-60 MPH in 5.6 Seconds (Slideshow)
23 Electric Cars Driving the Revolution

Tags: Driving | Transportation | United States

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