Retired Test Driver Jim Mero Believes the C8 Corvette Z06 Has Potential for a Sub 7-Minute Nurburgring Time

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Retired Test Driver Jim Mero Believes the C8 Corvette Z06 Has Potential for a Sub 7-Minute Nurburgring Time

Photo Credit: Stefan Baldauf / SB-Medien


With the 2023 Corvette Z06 being tested at the Nurburgring, the forums have been humming about the potential lap time for the new car.

However, the conversations surrounding the next generation Z06 have been off-the-charts in speculation of whether the car is naturally aspirated or if it will be a twin-turbo based on what users are seeing and hearing as they watch the videos of the test cars on the track. FYI, we are firmly in the Naturally Aspirated camp.

One user who has gotten quite a bit of traction over the weekend has stated the Z06 is a twin-turbo with 700+ hp and has the ability to run the quarter-mile in 10.26 @ 135 mph. The belief is that Chevy would not go backwards in horsepower from the C7 Z06’s 650-hp/650 lb-ft torque and therefore the C8 will be as powerful, or even more powerful than the preceding model.

Like I said, lots of speculation…

Jim Mero


A member of the Corvette Forum (and MidEngineCorvetteForum.com) named Keagan-Z06 decided to reach out to Jim Mero for his opinion on the subject. Mero is the retired GM Ride and Handling Engineer for the Corvette team who test drove previous generation Corvettes on the famous German track. Here is his reply:

Hey there Keagan,

So, taking into consideration several things:

The first and foremost new tires, I know that Lee Willard is a tire design genius. Whatever cup tires are on the C8 Z06, comparing them to the Cup 2 tires that were designed and developed by Lee and myself in 2013, seven years of tire design and advanced technology should result in an incredible tire for the C8 Z06. I would venture to estimate a lap time improvement of 8 to 10 seconds just based on tires.

The second would be the DCT. More available gears to keep the horsepower and torque in the peak power band throughout the lap and lightning quick shifts. Better and more advanced performance traction algorithms. I did not use performance traction for every fast lap I did through the C7 Z06. I did embrace it on the C7 ZR1, having to do it over, I might’ve run the ZR1 the same way I ran everything else.

I don’t know the horsepower of the new Z06 but keeping up with the horsepower gain throughout the generations, I see no reason to C8 Z06 would be any different.

And of course, the driver. I do not know if they are going to have Oliver Gavin drive again. But now there is an engineer on the Corvette I feel would be just as fast, if not faster. His name is Bill Wise, he drove the 7:16 Camaro ZL1 1LE a few years ago.

Summing it all up, based on my armchair analysis, which actually has been pretty good in the past, I see no reason the car shouldn’t be 12 to 14 seconds faster than the 7:10 I ran in the C7 Z06.

The opportunity to have the Corvette be the first American car under seven minutes would be a significant achievement. I know, I’ve been there…….

Thank you, Jim

2019 Corvette ZR1 on the Nurburgring


Mero nearly became the first to drive an American car under the 7-minute mark with the 2019 Corvette ZR1’s 7:04 time and so he is the recognized expert on the subject. However, the unknown element in the conversation continues to be the Z06’s performance numbers which we’ll have to wait until the official reveal date on October 26th to know for certain.


Source:
MidEngineCorvetteForum.com

Related:
[PICS] Jim Mero Confirms He Lapped the Nurburgring in 7:04 with the 2019 Corvette ZR1
Jim Mero to Offer Magnetic Ride Control Updates for C6 Corvettes
[PIC] Retirement Gift for Jim Mero May Have Revealed the C7 Corvette’s Nurburgring Times

 



10 COMMENTS

  1. “One user who has gotten quite a bit of traction over the weekend has stated the Z06 is a twin-turbo with 700+ hp and has the ability to run the quarter-mile in 10.26 @ 135 mph. The belief is that Chevy would not go backwards in horsepower from the C7 Z06’s 650-hp/650 lb-ft torque and therefore the C8 will be as powerful, or even more powerful than the preceding model.”

    Pardon my blushing french, but, “F**k that.”

    The brass has continuously said that it will be N/A and will have significant horsepower rating over the last N/A Z06, which was the C6 Z06 that had 505-hp. I hope they stick with N/A over forced induction because I don’t want to have to go to either Lingenfelter or Pratt-Miller to have them re-bore the 6.2 into a 427 or swap out the LT2 for a crate LS7. I don’t give a crap for forced induction and I want to have the N/A option from the factory.

  2. This is the same Jim Mero that put down the mid-engine platform when is was coming out. I just hope GM publishes its track times.

  3. The lap time on the Nürburgring is very important for marketing. A few weeks ago, Porsche drove a 911 easily under 7 minutes, but this 911 was not a production car as we know it. I see the Ferrari here, as in Le Mans as a Corvette C8 competitor, technically similar.
    For the Corvette C8 ZO6 with 650HP, less than 7 minutes are easily possible and necessary.
    This development of decreasing lap times is logical, as the development of technology progresses very quickly.
    I’m particularly looking forward to the ZO6, as it is technically and optically very similar to the C8.R racing car.
    Here you can clearly say from the racetrack to the road!

  4. People easily forget a third component to a great sports car: lightness. A GT2 RS and italia weigh 300 lbs lighter than the base C8 stingray. The C8 Z06 will have a weight deficit over its direct rival the 458 italia. doubt the 5.5 L will have the same compression ratio as the 458 speciale. Hence i predict 120hp/liter for a total of 660hp. For a N/A engine that’s respectable with a red line of 9 KRPM

  5. Hey Mako. I have a great deal of respect for Jim Mero’s engineering and driving skills over the last 35 years. Especially his runs on the Nurburgring. When he said there was more in the C7 front mid-engine Corvette, he knew what he was talking about. Did you happen to see the Nurburgring time that Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series put in at 06:43.61. The first front engine car to hold that record in 10 years. A new production Car Record.
    Faster then the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and the Dodge Viper ACR.
    And you can’t rule out what Michelin’s tire wizard Lee Willard could have put into a new Pilot Sport Cup2 tire for the C7.

  6. The normally aspirated 5.5 liter Z06 motor will have 617 HP, not 650hp. The ZR1 twin turbo will be at 850hp. The numbers are out there. Do your homework.

  7. The new Z06 is a totally new beast on the scene.
    It has a N/A 5.5 liter flat plane crank engine that is now in a mid engine position. The car will and should be in the mid 6’s provided the aero, tires and engine mapping are set correctly.
    The car is going to impress a lot of naysayers as a legitimate American sports car and possibly earn the designation of super car. GM however has a lot to prove to earn the later. In my opinion 🏁

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