Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said at the Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash in April that they would be looking to make a trip to the famous 12.9 mile Nordschleife for final validation of the supercharged C6 ZR1. We just didn’t realize it would be so soon! Judging from the new official video from Chevrolet showing test driver Jim Mero piloting the 638-hp Corvette to a time of 7:19.63, an 6 second improvement over the famous high speed run in July 2008, I would have to say that final validation was most definitely a success.
If you already watched the new video, you heard Corvette’s chief engineer talk about various aspects of the 2012 Corvette ZR1 vs the 2009 model that was tested previously. Those changes included the new sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, while chassis and aero improvements have really improved the car over the last 4 years.
Driving the ZR1 on the Nurburgring looks to be a blast. According to the telemetry provided in the video, Mero hit a top speed of 183 mph and lateral Gs went as high as 1.8.
The new time of 7:19.63 beats the previous 2009 Corvette ZR1s run of 7:26.4 by over 6 seconds. The new time also puts the 2012 Corvette ZR1 ahead of the Dodge Viper ACR (7:22.1), the Porsche 911 GTS RS (7:24) and the Nissan GT-R (7:24.22).
Nice job Team Corvette!!
Update – GM Press Release added:
DETROIT – Corvette returned to the world’s most-demanding testing ground – Germany’s famed Nurburgring – and recorded lap times that rank among the fastest recorded for a production car.
As detailed on video, the 2012 Corvette ZR1 recorded a lap time of 7:19.63, more than six seconds faster than the previous Corvette-best recorded in 2008. A lap video featuring the Corvette Z06 will be released soon.
”Testing at the Nurburgring is one of the important methods we have to validate our car in the toughest track conditions.” says Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer.
Measuring 12.9 miles (20.8 km) and including some 154 turns, the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife (“north loop”) is widely considered the world’s most-demanding course. As was the case at Corvette’s last test in 2008, the car was driven by Corvette engineer Jim Mero and was a full production model with no performance modifications. This test was to validate the car’s added performance technology coming to production later this summer for the 2012 model year.
Corvette’s improved performance for 2012 begins with the new, optional Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, which are available on the two highest-performing models, the lightweight, 505-hp (377 kW) Z06 and the maximum-performance, 638-hp (476 kW) supercharged ZR1. They are competition-oriented tires, optimized for warm, dry conditions to increase cornering and handling capability.
When combined with the Corvette’s exclusive Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance – the tires set new benchmarks for Corvette performance. Engineers estimate an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration, to more than 1.1g, and improved braking distance.
Chevrolet’s Youtube Channel
[VIDEO] Engineers Discuss the New Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Tires on the 2012 Corvette
[VIDEO] ‘12 Nissan GT-R vs ‘09 Corvette ZR1 at Nurburgring
[VIDEO] Official Video of Corvette ZR1’s 7:26.4 Nurburgring Lap