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Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - click above image for hi-res gallery

Ah... what's it been, three weeks since we mentioned a Nürburgring "record?" Well, rest easy friends, as this post has nothing to do with a "record." Instead, it's all about the time laid down at the 'Ring by Horst von Saurma, editor of Germany's Auto Sport. Herr von Saurma lends an air of credibility to these tests, as not only did he briefly race professionally, but his 'Ring results are generally taken seriously. For instance, his 7:32 in a Porsche Carrera GT was considered the production record until recently when Nissan and General Motors started bringing in factory hot shoes.

Anyhow, here's what Horst found: The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 goes around the Nurburgring in 7:38 – the exact same amount of time it took him to hoof the Nissan GT-R around the circuit. Odd, you think? For the Nissan weighs almost 500 pounds more and gives up at least 100 horsepower to the Chevy. Not to mention around 165 lb-ft of torque. Yes, well, the 'Ring ain't a drag strip. And while big power helps, it's not the be-all and end-all. Both cars handle extremely well, but we're going to chock up the GT-R's impressive tie to an X factor. Namely, the twin-turbo Nissan is easier to flog at or around the limit than the supercharged Corvette – all-wheel drive helps in the dry, too, see?

And what about the issue that both manufacturers laid down 'Ring times in the 7:25 range? Well, it's within the margin of error you'd expect for a track as long as the Nürburgring, especially when the cars are driven on different days by different drivers. One more thing: Horst von Saurma laid down the Nissan's time in a 2009 model, and not in the new 2010 which features more power, better suspension and better brakes. Nor, for that matter, is it the Spec-V model. Just sayin'. Thanks to Wags for the tip!

[Source: GTRblog]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      As awesome of a track the Nurburgring is it has proven a terrible measuring stick for performance numbers. It is nearly impossible to get a consistent hot lap time. I think a best measuring stick is probably Laguna Seca or Button Willow 13 clockwise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The LS corkscrew favors some cars far more than others.

        To the point where its results are not that predictable elsewhere.

        If you had 20 tracks including LS, LS results would not represent the other 19.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't wait until Ford throws the GT at the ring! THEN we'll see who comes out victorious!!

      Huh? What? They don't make that car anymore? Dang! But I got nothin' then! Focus RS? Fusion AWD Sport? SHO? It's AWD and has mega HP (compared to what I drive). Maybe the GT500 or KR...surely THOSE gotta be rung out on the ring and can beat a silly llittle Nissan, no? Or did Ford win Le Mans enough times to not have to ever go back to any track and tune their cars? I mean I took them off my list when I found out they don't. Gonna hit me up a Cobalt SS Turbo insetad! Because that's important, 'ring tuning. Specially here in Manitoba. All the curvy roads and all...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was flying over Manitoba last month for work, didn't actually go there, but flew over it for several hours.

        I never knew that Manitoba was so flat. It's like the Kansas of Canada, but way more barren. It's one of those places where they say you can watch your dog run away for 3 days.

        Not really adding to the conversation, just saw the mention of Manitoba and thought I'd share my experience.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Z06 run 7:42 on runflats back in '06? I'd be curious if it would do any better now, considering any small changes GM made since it came out (for example does it still have the runflats?), and that it's only 10 sec off the ZR1.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Could be that the GT-R's intelligent transmission, 4WD, and boost system could just be more advanced than the Corvette's more old-school approach? I'm not knocking the Corvette, it does amazing things, and I'd definitely own one over the GT-R, but having more advanced electronics may do wonders for its lap time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Corvette wins.
      GT-R is a very first super car wannabe from japan.
      But, Corvette have long history with established super car technology.

      Carsumer Advocacy? Nissan refuses to replace GT-R owner's busted transmission

      REPORT: Nissan GT-R class action suit over transmission failures settled
        • 5 Years Ago
        Before you start criticizing the GT-R, you might want to improve your English skills buddy. By the way, the GT-R's transmission is so yesterday, everybody moved on already. Also, you should look up Nissan Skyline's GT-R before saying that it's just supercar wanna be.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're right. The GT-R name has absolutely no history/heritage behind it whatsoever.
      • 5 Years Ago

      "BigMcLargeHuge" is correct, Europe got the 2010 model changes sometime in early 2009.

      Sport Auto lists the build date as "10/2009" which is obviously a misprint, or I'm reading their date format wrong as the article clearly pre-dates that.

      But if you look at the tires used, the fuel tank capacity, and the price, those all match specifications for a 2010 GT-R.

      The car that ran the 7:38 was a 2010. You need to amend/edit your blog.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The ACR Viper still beats them right?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Structurally, the ACR is still a Viper - and Vipers were made for the street. It's not like the ACR is some tube-frame ringer, or something.

        Nissan did strip out the GT-R (lose the back seat, get rid of stereo equipment, sound deadening, etc.) with their Z-tune, and THAT GT-R is only marginally faster than the "regular" GT-R.

        Chevrolet said that they had alread put the Vette on enough of a diet (an already used enough exotic materials) that they couldn't remove any significant weight without going to CF wheels and acrylic side windows and hatch glass. Even then, they probably would only shave about 100~150 pounds out of the car.

        In neither case do you gain "much better times".

        Also, the reason you don't see much press on the ACR is because it isn't new. The recent press for the ZR1 and GT-R is due to their recent introduction. The ACR will be back in the press again if they can choose to get the output to (or above) 638hp.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Honestly I think F50's comparison to the ZR1 is about as valid as the ZR1 to the GT-R.

        The GT-R is a 2+2.

        So if you're going to compare a GT-R to a ZR1, you might as well throw in the ACR.

        And the answer is yes, the ACR kicks all but very rare @ss.
        • 5 Years Ago
        For the 10th time, the ACR is a stripped down, barely street-rideable car. If Nissan/Chevy were to introduce a car with non-existent sound deadening, unbearably high suspension damping then you'd have a valid comparison.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Jnel, Sportauto does not run their Supertest lap times in traffic. This is standard practice and has always been ever since the first Supertest lap time was ever published.

      Horst von Saurma (the driver) has issued a safety mandate that Supertest laps will be run on a clear, dry, track or they are not run at all. This is because he drives these lap times with no roll cage, minimal safety support and on street tires.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm down for someone accurately testing all these cars on the Ring, but they should use the fastest drivers for each car.

      Basically you want to test for the fastest cars with the any driver, not like they did here and test the driver with the fastest cars. Does that make sense?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only way to be even remotely scientific about it would be to test a large sample of chassis of each car, on a large sample of tracks, on a large sample of drivers, on a large sample of conditions.

        So 15 GT-Rs and 15 Vettes with 15 ex-pro drivers go a whole month where each drives 1 car for 3 laps a day.

        Even then, you'd have to divide up the results.

        Like GT-R is 2 seconds faster in the rain, ZR1 averages 0.5 seconds faster in the dry.

        But mag testing pretty much tells you these cars are in the same category. A couple seconds one way or another? Who cares.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Spark you're missing the point. I am sure another driver somewhere in the world can drive an Enzo (or any other car for that matter) faster than the Stig around the test track. If that happens the entire board becomes moot.

        We want to test a cars ability with the best driver not a drivers ability with the best cars. The latter being how Top Gear does it
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Big...

        Your level-headed insight has no place in this conversation.

        Please try again. This time you must incorporate thinly veiled racism, classism, ALLCAPS, and references to irrelevant performance metrics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      to put some oil in the fire... for the GT-R fanboys in the left corner and the ZR1 fanboys in the right corner to think about...

      Horst von Saumra drove the 997 GT2 in 7:33 around the Ring... only one second slower than Porsche claimed northloop laptime...
        • 5 Years Ago

        Jim Mero is NOT a suspension engineer. He's a former race car driver that tests for GM. Certainly he's not Michael Shumaker, but he's certainly not just "some guy", either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        HvS knows the Ring and 911s, but he's a mediocre racer car driver.
        Jim Mero, a suspension engineer not a racer, beat him badly in ZR1.
        There you go :P
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah - except they ran the cars in traffic. That kinda dilutes the worthiness of these results. Jan said he could "easily get the [ZR1] into the teens" on an open track.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Should I really care about this sort of crap? An editor/former professional racer finds that the GT-R and the Corvette ZR1 are on equal footing when it comes to lapping the Nurburgring. Why does this matter so much?

      The GT-R and ZR1 are both amazing cars IMO, and neither is better than the other. The ZR1 is more about power and aggression, while the GT-R is more about focusing and calculating. Not everyone will love the GT-R's rather soulless personality, and not everyone will like the ZR1's somewhat difficult driving dynamics.

      Again, this is getting really stupid.
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