The world never got to know the official Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time of neither the 650 horsepower C7 Corvette Z06 nor the 755 horsepower C7 Corvette ZR1. For reasons not entirely official, the Corvette development team was either plagued with bad weather, problems with the vehicles, and even a crash, whenever they attempted to set a reputable lap time around the 12.9 mile Green Hell with the last front-engine Corvette. Thankfully, as far as we understand it, the 495 horsepower C8 Corvette Stingray Z51 was able to set a hot lap around the German track without any such adversity, and we’re here to report on its performance.
Here it is: 7:28.30.
And, we’re sure you’re skeptical – but remember who we are here at MC&T. Our exclusive reports have clued you in that The C8 Corvette will have two hybrids before anybody else figured it out, we thoroughly explained why the infamous C8 Corvette dyno test was wrong, and we continue to chase the developing story of the C8 Corvette’s highly secure electronics architecture, and what it could mean for the aftermarket. In case you didn’t know who’s been making all of this Corvette news, you do now.
Is it the fastest Corvette around the track? No, absolutely not, but that’s not entirely the point here. Moreover, Chevrolet could still take another shot at an even faster lap time if they so choose, but the Corvette team will likely be busy with developing the next C8 variant, which we believe to be the Z06 and its flat-plane crank DOHC V8 engine.
Here’s arguably the most important measuring stick: the C7 Stingray Z51 managed a 7:39 in what’s said to be unfavorable weather conditions with a factory driver back in 2013. Nevertheless, the C8 managed to beat the equivalent C7 trim level despite its extra heft and mid-range Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. The C7 Z51 wore a more aggressive Michelin Pilot Super Sport tire, while the C7 Z06 with the Z07 package donned top-shelf Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire from the factory.
Officially tested by Chevrolet, a C6 Corvette ZR1 with its 638 horsepower LS9 V8 managed a 7:19.63, while German auto magazine Sport Auto managed to fire off a lap time of 7:13.90 with a C7 Z06. Just as well, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE clocked an absurd 7:16.04 with a factory driver.
For further comparison, a 7:28.30 (factory tested) lap time puts the C8 Stingray in between the 2007 Porsche 911 GT2 (7:32) and BMW M4 GTS (7:27.88).
However, these vehicles represent the performance ceiling of what’s capable from the factory out of their respective platforms. The Stingray represents the floor for the C8 program. And judging by what’s coming down the pipe for the new mid-engine Corvette, that time is bound to improve radically.
Will Chevrolet be able to crack the seven-minute mark with the C8 Corvette as Porsche did with the 911 GT2 RS (which starts at nearly $300,000) with the Weissach Package? Time will tell, but considering how good General Motors is at building world-beating performance cars, we’re certainly not betting against the Detroit automaker.