2012 Corvette Z06 on the 'Ring – Click above to watch the video after the jump

The Corvette ZR1 may be the bees' knees, but there's certainly a lot to be said about the mid-range Z06. For 2012, the Z06 gets a host of updates, and in order to prove the car's performance prowess, Corvette engineer Jim Mero took a brand new Z06 fitted with the Z07 chassis package to Germany's Nürburgring, only to find out that it's capable of ripping off a 7:22.68 lap time.

For those keeping track, that's 20 seconds faster than the last Z06 record lap (set in 2005), and only three seconds slower than the fastest ZR1 time. Color us impressed.

Do yourself a favor and click through the jump to watch Mero flogging the Z06 around the 'Ring. General Motors' official press blast is yours for the reading after the jump, as well.



Show full PR text
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 videorecorded 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.


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  • 90 Comments
      ramairjer
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pushrods and leafspring FTMFW.
        Lemon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ramairjer
        Haters gon hate
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ramairjer
        [blocked]
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          The last 14 years is proof that a large displacement lightly stressed engine makes a better car. Reference: Oreca Vipers 1998 1st & 2nd at Lemans @ 24 Heurs Du Mans 1999 1st & 2nd & 3rd & 4th & 5th & 6th @ 24 Heurs Du Mans The Corvette story doesn't need to be retold. However, just incase you forgot, 7 wins in 10 years says it all. The C6R kept getting hit with handicap after handicap just to keep the Aston Martins on the same lap. Current C6R -ZR1 was even faster, but is barred from using Direct Injection. What ever happened to build your best car and let it all hang out? You guys have to keep making excuses and apologies for your cars, or complain that the 'Vette is too DAMN fast. ....and darn near bulletproof.
          You guy
          • 3 Years Ago
          But it does get 27mpg on the highway...
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          Funny, your name is Veyron. Yet that car needs 8.0L, 4 turbos, and 10 radiators to make 1,001hp.
      Evander Xavier
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great work! The Z06 is a beast. Let's see what Nissan and Porsche will do next.
        sparrk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Evander Xavier
        Porsche is about to release the next generation 911, it will be interesting to see how much they can squeeze out of the 998.
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Taking an downhill turn at about 170mph(7:33) = balls of steel.
        Mike B
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        On the new ZR1 run he took the turn at 183mph.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Nice Duke Nukem reference lol...
      postpast
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thats fast
      xmailboxcancerx
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love it. This might as well be the ZR1 sans the [debatably] goofy plastic window on the hood. Either way, nit-picky negative details aside (such as sporting an HHR-style steering wheel), Chevy definitely knows how to build– and improve –a great sports car. Props all around.
      Joel Lau
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome time. Too bad all the GT-R fanboys are complaining about "Oh, if the GT-R had the same tires eetc etc it'd be faster!" How about this you frickin' geniuses, give the Corvette the GT-R's AWD and all the GT-R's electric gizmos and guess what? "Oh the Vette will be faster!" Hrrrrrrrrrrpdrrrrrrrrrp. STFU.
        Professor AMG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Joel Lau
        "If the GTR had the same tires and engine and chassis as the MP4-22 or Ferrari formula 150 car, it would kill the corvette around the ring." Lol
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Joel Lau
        [blocked]
          Danaon
          • 3 Years Ago
          It has a 600 lb penalty because they made it that heavy. Seriously, you really can't even compare ring times between the two cars. Why? The difference is literally a couple of seconds in a 7 min plus track. Even the slightest difference between drivers is more than that. Just because the Corvette is good doesn't mean GTR fanboys need to be butthurt, or vice versa.
      Lemon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ever since the ZR1 came out I feel like the people forgot about the Z06. This thing is a track animal. 7 liter small block revving to 7 grand along with a curb weight ~300 lbs less than the ZR1?....I want this car.
        Chris
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lemon
        Honestly.... The Zr1 is better... I have driven them ALL hard. The zr1 is just a beast and it will be more street friendly than the z06 once you start modding. Small Cam + boost is better street than Big Cam N/A.
      Nick Balsbaugh
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this is this fast... how fast will the 2012 GT-R be? Damn.
        Blakkar
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick Balsbaugh
        Likely the same predictable improvement, -2sec per version, given the very rigid nature of the GT-R35's operational dynamics and product development. -2sec. = 7min22sec+
        Nick Balsbaugh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick Balsbaugh
        ******* fanboys. You guys SUCK.
      vedi123
      • 3 Years Ago
      yawn, another one of these factoy times that is miles apart from those of independent testers.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Tetratron
        • 3 Years Ago
        The sky is purple, Dogs speak Chinese, Mole people live at the center of the Earth and are plotting to steal our white women! I too can spout total nonsense as fact. Look at me commenting on the internet!
          Tetratron
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Tetratron
          Very wrong.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Tetratron
          [blocked]
          graphikzking
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Tetratron
          Yes you're right. The Corvette doesn't have the best interior. The GTR is quicker. The GTR is also $20,000 more. I can have a Corvette AND a Camry for the price of a GTR. Hell I can have a Corvette and a $20,000 limited edition Ducati and STILL be cheaper than a GTR. If your honestly buying a Z06 you're probably not daily driving it but mostly for track duty. I don't honestly see the point of a z06 as a daily driver. A standard corvette has removable roof (if you're buying a sports car you usually only drive it in nice weather) and having a removable roof is great! 430+hp with only 3100lbs is more than enough. If not, then very minor cam work along with exhaust will get you in the 475+ hp range and will sound nasty as all hell. This Z06 is not made to have the best interior. It's a "poor" man's track car. Ariel Atom, Gumpert Apollo, Noble M12, Lotus, Caterham etc.. which one of those cars has a nice interior? What car has a nice interior and beats any of them on a track? The Z06 is one of the few that is livable yet has amazing lap times and stays semi close to those. It's strattles the line.
        aaronrun
        • 3 Years Ago
        I was about to call BS on this, but come to think of it, who knows the Aveo better than you.
      JF GeSchmidtt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yawn...
      johnb
      • 3 Years Ago
      What an incredible car the Corvette has become. Congrats to the Corvette engineering team.
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