By now most car fans have heard the rumor that the C7 Z06 became the third production vehicle to run a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 7-minutes. The oddly specific rumor claims that the newest track-dominating ‘vette ran a blistering 6:59.13 on the famed German track. For anyone who follows this manhood-measuring game the manufacturers play, that time isn’t just quick. If the z06 runs a lap in under 7-minutes, it will be in the company of only the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 hypercars, the latter of which hasn’t even published an official time, but is said to have run the ‘ring in under 7-minutes. So did the fastest ‘vette ever run a 6:59.13?
We don’t think so. Why don’t we think the z06 ran such a time? Here are a few reasons:
1. Top End Power
The ‘ring is famous for putting cars through every test of handling one can imagine. However, the track also has some very high speed straights and sweepers, areas where high horsepower cars can make up a lot of ground on cars with significantly more grip and balance. It’s hard to imagine the Z06 has any significant grip advantage (if any at all) over 918 and P1, but even if it did these cars are making astronomical levels of power in comparison — 903hp for McLaren P1 and 887hp for Porsche 918. The most aggressive aerodynamics package for the z06 has also been shown to significantly slow the car down at high speed by generating huge amounts of downforce, being outrun by the much less powerful Nismo GT-R in some comparisons.
2. C6 ZR1 Ran 7:19.63
The C7 Z06 has slightly more horsepower than C6 ZR1 and some higher tech as well as a stiffer chassis, but it’s also heavier and improvements are nowhere near making up 20 seconds on the ‘ring. That’s almost 5% faster. Even if we assume that Jim Mero is getting better every time he laps the ‘ring, 5% is a huge margin on such a track.
3. Z06 Wrecked in Most Recent Lap
The GM team at the ‘ring crashed a yellow Z06 in the most recent hot testing of the car. If they ran a sub-7:00 lap before that, it’s very unlikely they would continue to make runs at 100%. While it’s not impossible to crash running at a fraction of 100%, it appears Jim Mero was driving and he is without doubt the most experienced driver of Corvettes on the Nürburgring. Sure, GM may continue to push it, but it’s more likely they would be celebrating and organizing a press release after Z06 becomes only the third production car ever, and by far the most accessible, to break the 7-minute barrier.
4. GM Denies the Rumors Directly
Chief Engineer of the Corvette team has stated that the rumored times are “fabricated” and “not accurate.” If a comparable time had been run, one can imagine team Corvette would either have no comment on the matter or simply confirm the time as legitimate. Despite this denial straight from the source, many ‘vette fans across the Internet still insist the time is legit.
If you still think the 6:59.13 time is legitimate you’re in serious need of a reality check. The Z06 has always been a phenomenal performance car for the money and a true bargain in the supercar market, but it simply isn’t a competing with the likes of P1 and 918. Move on. We fully expect the C7 Z06 to run an extremely impressive lap at the ‘ring, but until Harry Potter gets behind the wheel it isn’t going to break the 7-minute barrier.