When GM returned to the Nurburgring to validate the 2012 Corvettes, the ZR1 wasn’t the only car driven by test driver Jim Mero. Mero also drove a black 2012 Corvette Z06, outfitted with the Z07 chassis package, and posted a lap time of 7:22.68. The new lap time for the Z06 is just 3 seconds off the record-setting 7:19.63 time Mero recently recorded in the ZR1 while besting the previous Z06 record at the Nurburgring by nearly 20 seconds.
The lightest and most balanced Corvette model, the Z06 Corvette that ran the Nurburgring was equipped with the Z07 chassis package which features Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, Performance Traction Control and Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The Z06 was also outfitted with the new optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires which did their job at keeping the Corvette firmly planted to the track.
The 2012 Corvette Z06’s lap time of 7:22.68 is an amazing feat for General Motors. Consider that the 2012 Z06 costs under $100,000 and yet it managed to beat the much celebrated 7:26.4 lap time of the 2009 Corvette ZR1 while coming within 3 seconds of the 2012 Corvette ZR1’s 7:19.63.
Here is the press release by General Motors:
Corvette Z06 Establishes Performance Benchmark
New content enables increased performance at Germany’s famed testing ground
DETROIT – Corvette engineers provided another exclusive peek inside the extensive testing that is instrumental in creating one of the world’s highest performing cars. During Corvette’s recent return to the world’s most-demanding testing ground – Germany’s famed Nurburgring — the Z06 model, as detailed on video recorded a lap time of 7:22.68.
The Z06 is the lightest and most balanced Corvette model, positioned below the range-topping ZR1 supercar model. The 2012 Corvette Z06 model shown includes the Z07 chassis package, featuring new optional Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Selective Ride Control, as well as carbon fiber components (hood, front splitter and rockers) and aerodynamic improvements. All of those features are regular production options for the 2012 Corvette Z06, and substantial enablers for the car’s elevated performance level.
The lap time is 20 seconds faster than the previous-best Z06 lap time, recorded in 2005, which was recorded from a standing start rather than the generally-accepted rolling start technique now used. The Z06 lap time is only 3 seconds behind the fastest Corvette lap time ever, the 2012 Corvette ZR1.
While lap times at the Nurburgring’s Nordschliefe (”north loop”) are unofficial, these times are a frequent, if informal, benchmark for some of the world’s highest performing cars. The recent Corvette Z06 performance there is notable in that few, if any, production models in the sub-$100,000 range have recorded such a strong lap time.
“There’s a lot of legend and speculation about Nurburgring lap times, so we wanted to provide sports car fans with a video look inside one complete lap in the new Z06,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette vehicle line director and chief engineer. “This is just one of a multitude of ways we test, but there’s nothing like the Nurburgring in terms of severity, speed and notoriety around the world. In this particular test in Germany, we were validating new content for 2012, doing many days’ worth of tuning and development work. As a small part of that effort, we had a brief opportunity for Jim Mero to record lap times with a clear track. We ran three of those complete and continuous laps, two in the ZR1 and one in the Z06, captured by on-board videos.”
Measuring 12.9 miles (20.8 km) and including some 154 turns, the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife is widely considered the world’s most-demanding course. The test car was driven by Corvette engineer Jim Mero and was a full production model with no performance modifications.
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