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!