It sounds like the good people at General Motors have been having some fun with their newest toy; the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Jason Laird, executive director for product and technology communications at GM, tweeted that the meanest Camaro of them all managed to lap the Nurburgring in a scant 7:41.27.

If you're keeping track, that time puts the ZL1 in some pretty heady company. Hardware like the Porsche 911 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and the Audi R8 5.2 FSI have all done the deed slower, though perhaps not in the same conditions with the same driver. Regardless, it's fast.

Currently there's no word on who was behind the wheel during that mad dash around the track, but we have our fingers crossed for some suitably spectacular video sometime soon. Our hats go off to the suspension gurus at GM for an impressive effort. Just don't tell James May...


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  • 66 Comments
      mitytitywhitey
      • 3 Years Ago
      There isn't a track in the world that doesn't reward power to some degree, but the Nurburgring is most definitely a track that embarrasses cars with poor handling. Look at the improvement our reining champs see: Viper ACR: aero tire and suspension yielded HUGE time gains, no power increase over stock Viper. Corvette Z06: throw some sticky PS cups on it and improve by 20 seconds. No power increase. I'm betting if youd done the chassis tweaks but not the power increase to an SS, you'd come closer to 7:41 than if you just did the power increase. Case-in-point: Z06 on PS cups bs ZR1 on PS Cups. Barely a difference in lap times for all of their 150hp difference. Moral of the story: You want to see big gains on the Ring, get some stickier rubber, tweak your aero, an adjustable suspension, etc. That's how the 'most improved players' do it. In short, it's every bit a handling track.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mitytitywhitey
        So true. Just because the Ring has a couple of massive straights, it doest overshadow its 170ish difficult corners of all types.
      Nevo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Government Motors? What kind of moronic goon would still be harping on that tired cliche? If someone believes any entity who take government money is socialist then those people should stop eating fast food because the mega farms get a few billion a year to grow food. So the farmers are Government Farmers, Te Defense Industry gets a trillion so they are Socialist, let's see... the airlines get a few billion a year and still charge for bags: socialist for sure, but GM builds some great cars and I don't care if they needed a bailout. I would rather use my taxes to help put a few hundred thousand Americans to work than to give it to a couple of thousand crazy farmers who vote against society's best interests. Great car. Go GM.
      Autoblogist
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Hardware like the Porsche 911 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and the Audi R8 5.2 FSI have all done the deed slower," Why the hell even mention that if it's not their fastest times?
      Bill Burke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why is anyone surprised? American modern muscle cars such as the Camaro, Mustang and Challenger are very capable automobiles. While certainly not exotic sports cars, they offer a high level of performance for a reasonable price. What is most attractive about these cars is that they go to the root of the classic American era of fast cars, fun cars and youthful cruising. If asked, I'd take a Dodge Challenger R/T over a Porsche anyday. If you have to think about it, you weren't there. Too bad, because it was fun, fun fun !
        thedriveatfive
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill Burke
        affordable is relative, I sure hope this is right in the 50k range because otherwise it really is not.
          Bill Burke
          • 3 Years Ago
          @thedriveatfive
          Drive, That's the best part. One can order up a base six cylinder model with a few goodies and get in on the action at a nice price or you can go all out with a full boat model. What this all adds up to is cruising around in a muscle car that sends a clear message that the driver considers his ride more than just transportation.
        zap
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill Burke
        Till her daddy takes the t bird away
      Junkyard Willie
      • 3 Years Ago
      At least GM is paying back the bailout money. The banks took the bailout money threw a big party, gave themselves bonuses, refuse to give anybody a loan, took peoples homes and told the government to go f*ck themselves. So who's really the bad guys now?
      djskaizan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure that the ZR1 (7:19) and GT3 (7:40) have all done the deed faster than the ZL1. The 7:41.27 is super quick, though... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_N%C3%BCrburgring_Nordschleife_lap_times
      protovici
      • 3 Years Ago
      Government Motors creating another parts bin special. A big car with little to no room???
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @protovici
        I like Ford and Mustangs as well, but you cant deny GM, this Camaro ZL1, and the impressive Ring time it posted. I don't even think, for honesty sake, that a GT500 PP would even come within 10 seconds, simply because the Ring is a bumpy course and magnetic IRS >>>>>>SRA on something as treacherous as the Ring. On a smoother course, it would be closer, because despite lacking the newest suspension tech, the Stang is lighter and likely nimbler.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @protovici
        Can't you be more original with your comments? I mean on every ZL-1 article, you say the exact same thing every time.
        badmoon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @protovici
        This coming from a guy who takes the bus and has never had a drivers license. The only thing he knows about cars came from Top Gear!
      Georg
      • 3 Years Ago
      hard to belive that they did that time with a truly stock car... most likely it was as heavly tuned as the "production" WRX STI who did the 7:55min laptime ... The Camaro SS did a very disapointing 8:20min FACTORY laptime... 40s improvment does not come from 150hp more power and some suspension fine tuning Subaru was so stupid to display their northloop record WRX STI sedan at the IAA in Frankfurt sitting next to a true stock production WRX STI sedan... the list of modifications from front to back, in and under the car were dramaticly long... extra oilcooler, radicaly changed aerodynamic with closed underbody large rubber spoilerlip at the front (reduce airflow under the car), modified rear spoiler, 6piston race brake, non optional wheels and tires, completely striped frenders front and back (would not be surprised if the whole nose reducing material was removed), 2 lightweight Recaro race bucket seats, removed interior parts, weld in full race roll cage with crossing at the back and side protection front (increasing chassie stifness) removed parts at the rear with changed difusor etc etc.. that car was as stock as my modified car.. 0%
        Camaroman101
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Georg
        don't automatically assume the worst till all the info comes out. i doubt GM would run a modded car, did they ever mod a corvette for the lap? no
      POV
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not a fan of the Camaro but this deserves respect.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      The Law
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why are people comparing Porsche's to Camaro's? Ok these cars may have equal performance but, price is what really separate these cars. it's like comparing a 2012 Jeep SRT8 to a 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo which cost more then double, when really it should be compared to a Porsche Cayenne S. The 2012 ZR-1 German rivals are the BMW M3, Audi S4, and the Mercedes C63 Coupe.
        Mike B
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Law
        The ZR1 rivals are the 911 Turbo and GT-R.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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