A 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE and a 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman lock horns to see which of the two runs the roost

When you’re at the height of boredom and you happen to have a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE sitting in your garage, there is a multitude of ways to get rid of the boredom pangs and have some fun behind the wheel of your turbocharged muscle car.

Veteran racer Randy Pobst needed something to do, and so, he rang up a friend who happens to own a 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman to join him on an empty strip of road for a nice comparison test between the two turbocharged four-cylinder-powered performance machines. The objective of the test is simple. Pobst and his buddy wanted to find out which of the two is the better performance car.

The tale of the tape

Before we dive into all the challenges, it’s important to establish the capabilities of both the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE and the 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman. Here’s how the two cars stack up in some important power and performance categories:

Model 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman
Engine 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
Horsepower 275 horsepower 300 horsepower
Torque 295 pound-feet of torque 280 pound-feet of torque
0 to 60 mph 5.4 seconds 4.9 seconds
Quarter-mile 14.1 seconds at 103 mph 12.65 seconds at 110.47 mph
Top speed 155 mph 170 mph

Basing it on these figures alone, it’s clear that the 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman has the proper edge over its American rival in all relevant performance categories. But what these numbers don’t take into account is the biggest variable in the entire challenge: the driver.

Challenge 1: Drag Race

Randy Pobst Is Here To Teach You The Difference Between American and German Four-Cylinder Engines
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The first challenge is the quintessential speed challenge in America: the drag race. Pobst lined up his Camaro 1LE against his buddy’s 718 Cayman, and after a cheeky test run, the two drivers finally put the pedal to the metal.

The Camaro 1LE made a good show of itself against the 718 Cayman, but it wasn’t much of a challenge. Despite having just 15 horsepower more than the Camaro 1LE, the 718 Cayman laid the smackdown on its American rival, easily dispatching the Camaro 1LE without so much as breaking a sweat. Pobst tried his darnedest to make it a more competitive race, but there was nothing he could do against his compadre, who drove the 718 Cayman to a convincing victory.

Challenge 2: Brake Test (0-100-0 mph)

Randy Pobst Is Here To Teach You The Difference Between American and German Four-Cylinder Engines
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If you’re in a car that can reach 60 mph from an idle position 0.5 seconds slower than your rival, the math says that it’s going to take longer for you to reach 100 mph than the same rival. Basically, the Camaro 1LE lost this challenge before it even began.

Not only was the 718 Cayman faster in a straight line, but it also reached 100 mph a lot faster than the Camaro 1LE, enabling Pobst’s buddy to slam the brakes in his 718 Cayman a lot sooner than him.

In fact, Pobst still hadn’t reached 100 mph in the Camaro 1LE by the time his buddy’s 718 Cayman grounded to a halt. That’s pure domination. The host even tried to see the distance between the two cars after the challenge and, according to his calculations, the distance between the 718 Cayman and the Camaro 1LE was a staggering 475 feet. Again, folks. Domination.

Challenge 3: Slalom

Randy Pobst Is Here To Teach You The Difference Between American and German Four-Cylinder Engines
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To save face, Pobst and his battered Camaro 1LE took to a slalom run to see if it could upend the mighty 718 Cayman. Each driver got two chances to complete a quick slalom run and the faster time of those two runs would be used against the other car’s faster slalom run. By some miracle, the Camaro 1LE finally rose up to the occasion, posting a best time of 8.72 seconds. It still lost to the 718 Cayman — it posted a best time of 8.67 seconds — but the fact that the Porsche edged out the Chevrolet by less than a tenth of a second counts as a huge victory for the American muscle car.

Pobst himself couldn’t help but feel vindicated with his Camaro 1LE, admitting that the Chevy’s impressive showing in the slalom run came down to the stiffer suspension that’s included in the 1LE package. Not only did the stiffer suspension make the Camaro 1LE more drivable, but, more importantly, it changed the setup in a way that made it change directions more quickly.

Final Verdict

Randy Pobst Is Here To Teach You The Difference Between American and German Four-Cylinder Engines
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The 2019 Porsche Cayman 718 is the superior car over the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE. But the latter made a good enough showing to justify its strengths as a performance machine.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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