Due to external factors, the 2019 C7 Corvette ZR1 driven by Jim Mero missed breaking the 7-minute barrier at Nürburgring, despite being capable of doing so. But now there’s hope that this achievement can be done with the 2023 C8 Corvette Z06. The All-American Supercar is over there testing on the German track right now, spitting blue flames, ahead of its big reveal on October 26, 2021. We have to assume a C8 Z06 ‘Ring lap time is part of the festivities. If you don’t believe us, peep the video below:
Jim Mero Hypes 2023 C8 Corvette Z06 Nürburgring Lap Time
The retired GM vehicle dynamics engineer, a 20+ year Nurburgring veteran, and now owner of Jim Mero Vehicle Dynamics, is well known among the Corvette community. And he even participates in forum banter like the rest of us heathens. As such, a Corvette Forum member called on Mero to ask some questions about the C8 Corvette Z06, and here’s what he had to say:
Hey there Keagan,
So, taking into consideration several things:
The first and foremost new tires, I know that Lee Willard is a tire design genius. Whatever cup tires are on the C8 Z06, comparing them to the Cup 2 tires that were designed and developed by Lee and myself in 2013, seven years of tire design and advanced technology should result in an incredible tire for the C8 Z06. I would venture to estimate a lap time improvement of 8 to 10 seconds just based on tires.
The second would be the DCT. More available gears to keep the horsepower and torque in the peak power band throughout the lap and lightning quick shifts. Better and more advanced performance traction algorithms. I did not use performance traction for every fast lap I did through the C7 Z06. I did embrace it on the C7 ZR1, having to do it over, I might’ve run the ZR1 the same way I ran everything else.
I don’t know the horsepower of the new Z06 but keeping up with the horsepower gain throughout the generations, I see no reason to C8 Corvette Z06 would be any different.
And of course, the driver. I do not know if they are going to have Oliver Gavin drive again. But now there is an engineer on the Corvette I feel would be just as fast, if not faster. His name is Bill Wise, he drove the 7:16 Camaro ZL1 1LE a few years ago.
Summing it all up, based on my armchair analysis, which actually has been pretty good in the past, I see no reason the car shouldn’t be 12 to 14 seconds faster than the 7:10 I ran in the C7 Z06.
The opportunity to have the Corvette be the first American car under seven minutes would be a significant achievement. I know, I’ve been there…….
Thank you, Jim
The 2023 Corvette Z06 is expected to have the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine ever found in a production car, topping at over 600 horsepower. That said, scorekeepers will no doubt point to the fact that the C7 Z06 had a staggering 650 hp, when it was running right. But with a mid-engine application, better tires, and more aggressive aerodynamics by comparison, the C8 Corvette Z06 is bound to make far better use of its power than the C7 ever could.
At the moment, it feels like the 2023 Corvette Z06 is aiming straight at the 992 Porsche 911 GT3, which just came out for the 2022 model year and starts at $161,100 USD. Last September, Porsche sent one around the track with a finishing time of 6:55.34. Yet it’s got nothing on the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which was priced from $293,000 USD. This 700 hp German missile lapped the ‘Ring in a record 6:38; the fastest so far of any production vehicle. We expect the new Z06 to land somewhere in between the two Porsche supercars with its lap time, while coming in way, way under on the MSRP. Because only Porsche can get away with selling six cylinder cars for that kind of money. Because Porsche buyers are suckers.
Here’s to a clear track, and fair weather for a trouble-free C8 Z06 Nürburgring hot lap.