The internet’s abuzz tonight after a video has surfaced showing a Laguna Blue 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 testing on the famous Nurburgring. The Corvette is shown making some fast runs through several turns with a helmeted driver and a co-pilot. Could it be that GM Engineers are doing some testing in Germany?
We’ve been a follower of ChevroletEurope on Twitter for some time now but really started paying attention earlier this year when the Corvette Stingray made its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show. CorvetteEurope recently tweeted that the C7 Corvette was getting ready to start testing in Europe and the good news is that you can go along for the ride.
Although our factory Corvette C6.Rs have the weekend off, we’ll be watching the Nurburgring 24 hour race with Jan Magnussen, Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook who’ve teamed up with Daniel Keilwitz, winner of the 2010 FIA GT3 Drivers Championship, to drive this gold GT3 Z06R #90 Callaway Corvette for Haribo.
Photo Credit: BridgetoGantry.com
At the 2012 NCM Bash held last weekend at the National Corvette Museum, GM test driver Jim Mero and engineer Jeff Mosher talked about their last visit to the Nurburgring in 2011 where the 2012 Corvette ZR1 lapped the famous circuit in 7:19.63, beating their previous run in 2008 of 7:26.4 and claiming the unofficial title as the fastest production car on the ‘ring.
It’s not often we dedicate a post about a vehicle that’s not a Corvette, but when we see another Bowtie running the Nordschleife, we take notice. Here is the official video of the new 2012 Camaro ZL1 running the Nurburgring in 7:41.27. Powered by a supercharged 6.2L “LSA” V8 rated at 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque, the new ZL1 was 40 seconds faster than the Camaro SS and 18 seconds faster than the Cadillac CTS-V’s 7:59. Earlier this year, the Corvette ZR1 ran a 7:19.63 while the Z06 clocked in at 7:22.68.
A huge crash on the famous Nurburgring over the weekend collected eight cars including a “rented” Corvette Z06. The accident occurred on the portion of the ‘ring known as the “Bergwerk” section and from various reports, we believe the cause was likely due to a construction zone that failed to give drivers enough warning to slow down. Regardless, the accident left seven of eight cars undrivable and one of the drivers in critical condition.
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.
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.
The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires found on the upcoming 2012 Corvette Z06 and ZR1′s represent the pinnacle of performance for tires on a Corvette and they are another example of the technology transfer from the racing team to the production sports car. This video from GM was part of the 2012 Corvette data dump which came out last Thursday while we were in route to the Corvette Museum. As an added twist to the introduction of the new tire for Corvette, team members at the C5/C6 Bash stated that another run of the Nurburgring may be in order.
Nissan’s GT-R made a run in 2009 against the ZR1 on the world famous Nordschleife and they came within .3 of a second of the Corvette’s 7:26.4 lap. Two years later, the newly upgraded 2012 GT-R goes at it again, this time besting the Corvette by two seconds with a 7:24.22 lap. Check out the laps after the jump.