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Corvette ZR-1 shaves four seconds at the 'Ring for 7:22.4 lap time

 
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Jan Magnussen took the driver's seat for the new hot lap

Jan Magnussen took the driver's seat for the new hot lap

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Since the Nissan GT-R scorched the Nurburgring in just 7 minutes 29 seconds and change earlier this year, speculation about the 650hp (485kW) Corvette ZR-1's potential times has run rampant. That speculation was brought to an end in July with the mighty American powerhouse lapping the Nordschleife in 7 minutes, 26.4 seconds, but now Corvette racing driver Jan Magnussen has taken four seconds off that fast lap.

The new lap is still 0.3 seconds slower than the best time of the Dodge Viper ACR, but it's a significant step forward for the ZR-1. And on a 12.93mi (20.8km) circuit with over 170 turns, 0.3 seconds is the smallest of margins. Nevertheless, it's an impressive feat for the aging Chrysler machine. The ZR-1 on the other hand is still wearing its newness like a badge of honor.

The previous quick lap, reported by Corvette's chief engineer Tadge Juechter on the GM Next blog and hot-shoed by GM development driver Jim Mero, significantly raised the bar for affordable performance. By taking more than a full second off the Pagani Zonda F's time, the 'Vette is also quicker around the Green Hell than the Porsche Carrera GT supercar as well.

In both cases, the car was completely stock except for the addition of communications and safety equipment. Shod in production-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 2s, the car was also set to the same ride height and alignment figures as stock, making it exactly like the production cars that will begin production in the next few months at the plant in Kentucky.

Juechter claimed after the first record lap that there was more performance left in the ZR-1, and Magnussen's lap seems to have proved it. Even more speed could be extracted, but that would likely also require setup changes. As it stands, the ZR-1 was tuned in development to provide a very fast but still comfortable compromise position. If the car had been built exclusively for the track, like many supercars, the ride quality would have suffered too much for daily liveability, something that is a real consideration in a supercar as affordable as the ZR-1.

Video of the previous lap time of 7:26.4 can be found below.

Corvette ZR-1 laps the Nurburgring in 7:26.4



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Comments (41)
  1. Holy smokes that's fast!
     
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  2. Yeah but the GT-R V-spec might be better.
     
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  3. No way! :D

    I never thought it could beat GT-R. Guess I was wrong... Kudos!
     
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  4. You have to admit th ough, the GT-R is fast as hell for the amount of power it has and for how much it weighs. The ZR1 has 638 horses and weighs about 3300 pounds on the curb, while the GT-R has just 480 horsepower and weighs 3800 on the curb. yet, it accelerates nearly as fast and is probably an even better trackcar than the ZR1 on a tighter track like Murburgring's F1 circuit or the Monaco F1 circuit. Both of these cars are a pinnacle of engineering, the GT-R being amazing for its excellent technology and suspension, and the ZR1 being amazing for its amazing performance for the price and for its amazing fuel comsumption for its horsepower. I wonder how these cars stack up against some of their European competitors like the 911 GT2.
     
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  5. *spelling, I meant 'though' and 'Nurburgring'.
     
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  6. if the americans build more cars like this then their motor industry might just be saved. brilliant laptime none the less, it just scorched the gt-r's time, altough no other car has went round the Nurburgring as quick as the Radical SR8 at 6:55 minutes.
     
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  7. Woof, that is fast.
    I look forward to seeeing one around here soon...
     
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  8. It even looks more like an exotic than the GT-R
     
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  9. Well, the GT-R is a typically Japanese approach, science and performance above all else. I've never driven one, but the reviews I've read seem to say similar things, that it is incredibly capable, but maybe a little sterile, like driving the ultimate video game.
    My guess is that this Corvette is the exact antithesis to the GT-R, all noise, fury, excitement, fear, and a huge rush. The GT-R is probably the better car, especially for everyday use. The GT-R can probably out corner the Vette, but that much power just eats the GT-R alive on the straight bits inbetween. Sure is fun to watch the fireworks, though... :)
     
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  10. Congratulations to Chevrolet.
    and to all others. beware of the V-Spec
     
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  11. I second, beware of the V-Spec, I'm pretty sure Nissan has kept their V-Spec under wraps and has been slow on providing info about it because they wanted to see the performance of the ZR-1 its brilliant when you think about it

    Carlos : "Alright Suzuki, heres another 5 mill, make my GTR king again"
     
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  12. Bystanders timed the V-Spec to run a 7:25, but that's unofficial since they used stopwatches unstead of lap timers.
     
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  13. Then there's the issue of cost, what will a V-spec cost compared to this Vette? The normal GT-R costs the same already, doesn't it, or am I wrong?
     
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  14. you're wrong, the gtr is ~70K and the ZR-1 is 105K
    (both before dealer mark-ups)
     
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  15. Ah, then the GT-R is the superior bang for the buck vehicle.
    That really does matter, in my opinion. Just because they are supposed to go "head-to-head" and have similar performance numbers, I feel like you really can't compare vehicles costing more than 10-15% more or less.
     
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  16. ya its cheaper, more bang for your buck.
    end of the day
    both cars are winners int he lucky owners who get them.
     
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  17. Well, Chevy's speculation was right for once...
    It was indeed faster aroung the 'Ring than the GT-R, but I don't think anyone expected it to be as fast as the Zonda F.
    My condolences to Pagani...
     
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  18. Well this is the moment Pagani starts talking about its unique design, its handmade stitching, its smell when you get inside the car, its unique belt system for opening the rear, its matching suitcases, its matching shoes, its carbon weave going the opposite way to strengthen the frame, its backfire, its hand assembled AMG V12... hehehehehehe

    Of course the ring record as a nice addition, but Pagani can still survie I think :P
     
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  19. gus,.. you forget, the Z06 can be had for about 70 grand. In the end, I think I'd gladly take a Z06 over the GT-R which would be around the same price. sure the GT-R will out-corner and out-this and out-that..... but you drive cars like this to have fun and I really think that a Z06 would be nothing short of exciting even at a roll.

    I'm curious to see how much time the spec-v will take off. the car isn't supposed to get a big power boost (if any??) but they're talking something like 200 lbs in weight reduction. my thing is... how much is that going to help on a 3800lbs car... with AWD to boot.

    people suspect the spec-v to blow out the ZR1... I suggest that it's going to be close... but at the end of the day, I'd rather be seen in the ZR1... and I'd rather have the experience of driving this monster as well.
     
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  20. True, the fun factor is huge.
    Come on Chris, come down to So Cal, rent a Corvette ZHZHZHHH from Hertz and I'll show you why so many people live here... :)
     
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  21. Hey guys, what are you talking about? GT-R V-Spec (what an ugly index in comparison with ZR-1, even Z06 is better looking & sounding)certainly may out-lap the race-track only for the simple reason of being AWD. Can't you understand that complex AWD has the natural advantage of being stable & superior to Classic RWD on the racetrack.

    But I can assure that GT-R is costly to maintain, less fun to drive and of lesser quality than the 'Vettes. Why? Because it's a complicated car in terms of engineering & AWD. Even though it's a gorgeous car, it's rather dull, cold & too "smooth" of a car to drive! Even 600hp Dodge Viper is a hell of a monster & dangerously exciting to drive!

    I call 600hp Viper & ZR-1 an unbeatable Cloverfield monster rather than the beatable Godzilla (GT-R) . Remember, Godzilla could be beaten by conventional weapons, but the Cloverfield by a nuclear weapon only, correct?
     
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  22. RWD ZR-1 or AWD GT-R V-spec, in other words, American monster:All-mighty Cloverfield vs. Japanese weakling monster:Godzilla!!!

    Which is powerful? We'll see about that!

    Best Regards,
    Jahongir
     
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  23. Beating Europeans in their own game and the Japanese is the "thing." 7:26:4 is not an absolute record but a good average indeed. The 7:24 for the Lexus LF-A, the 7:25 for the NIssan Skyline GT-R spec V, and the 6:53 for the Ariel Atom are still ahead. I think the Vette with a paddle-shift can do better than the Lexus and the NIssan. As per the Ariel, well that's not a real car...
     
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  24. wow..the 'vette "smashed the GTR tiime did it ?? what was it ...hmnn 2.5 seconds....that is immense...i dont know how the Nissan guys are goign to be able to sleep now...

    stop the antiquitated american muscle car love in. The GTR hasnt even wound up yet, and when you have the V spec tuned to its release spec and on par with the Vette for power to weight and price then you will see a mauling when the V spec goes 5 seconds quicker than the vette.

    Which would i prefer ? the Nissan, every single day and twice on sundays. Better all round car, especially for drives through the mountains..... and cruising on the freeways doesnt matter if the top speed is only a 3rd of its capabilities. Also it would be safer.
     
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  25. Man i love my corvette but that blue one is HOT!!!!!!!
     
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  26. the impressive thing is it did it with a simple rwd and 6-speed manual
    not the trickery crap that the japanese use
     
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  27. The video shows this Vette has power to spare in all the gears and that handles curves like a real champion! In addition, the sound of the engine is awesome! I figure this car is going to have some room in Guinness book of record in some category. We should be really proud to know that fun driving is back and at an affordable price and made in USA! Too sad to know this beast came a bit to late for the game. CAFE regulations are going to make of it a piece for a museum :-(
     
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  28. Since when is 100k affordable Performance ? GTR yes...Z06 yes..not 100k + options takes that car ot 120k. Thats Porsche GT3 territory almost.
     
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  29. Great job! There is also now a rumor that the Loaded BMW M3 CSL 2003, done 7:13.6 on the Green Hell. The earlier time for this streetlegal Supercharged BMW on the Green Hell is 7:22,9, in cold conditions and with more cars on the track.
    I think that is more of a performance because it is sponsered by entusiast.
    Anyway, great performance by the Vette :-)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL7T9BD_Q3k
     
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  30. The best time registered for a BMW M3 CL around The Nordchleife is 7:50 on August 2003, driven by Horst von Saurma, according to Sport Auto. There are no 7:13 registered around Nurburgring that I know of (go see Wikipedia). The closest figure is a 7:18 for a Donkervoort D8 RS according to the same source. Bimmers, like Mercedes are too heavy cars. That takes a toll on speed when you take on curves as well as time to speed up and slow down... ;-)
     
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  31. burke; no no you are wrong! The car is a production TüV approved BMW M3 CSL. 1375kg // 530 whp.
     
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  32. HOLY FU##$#$@ @#$@$# THIs #$@#$ FU2$#@$@$

    THIS CAR IS FAST OMG!!!! CANT BELIVE THE DRIVER SAID HE COULD EVEN GO FASTER IN SOME TURNS WOW!!! imagine if they actually did build a dual clutch trans just like the one the GT-R that thing would do 10's and 6:00 lap time
     
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  33. Jahongir I believe if they used a nuclear weapon to kill the Cloverfield monster the film wouldnt exist. But this isnt about Nissan. The 2010 Honda NSX will be above all sub $200,000 production supercars. If you forgot what a Honda can do with all motor, check out this 300hp S2000 modified by ASM. Their best time on Tsukuba is 56 secs only 1 sec slower than the fastest time posted by a car with 500 more horsepower. Obviously this won't post a record time on Nurburgring and that is exactly why Honda chose a V10. Reason I bring up S2000 cuz thats the body platform being used for the NSX. Heres the ASM vid below.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCqWu-1lyUg
     
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  34. @Gladde

    That BMW M3 CSL is more like 600 horsepowers @ 1400kgs. It's been hell modified to the max. I still love it though. :)
     
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  35. I think that the driver has a lot to do in those green hell records. He has to know the car and the track. Also the weather has lots to do, too.
    Remember that track is five times a common track, so if a driver is 1 sec a lap faster than another in an "average" track, that is 5 secs faster in the Nurburgring. Also in a track, the time can change 1 additional sec because of hot weather, humidity, etc. There we have got full 10 secs, so would not dare to compare two cars driven by different drivers a different day with times within 10 secs. To properly compare we should go like ROC (interchange cars at the same time)
     
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  36. holy!!! that is fast car. and its sooo hot
     
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  37. To reference of the GTR measuring it at 480bhp.

    It's pretty safe to say that the claimed 480bhp rating for the GTR was underrated. Just about every test check of production GTRs has yielded figures above 500bhp.

    No knock on the car. Just saying it's more powerful than Nissan let on.
     
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  38. hands down the vette is a baddd car.....btw the gtr starts around 70k and dealer mark up...the vehicle has been sold for 120k
    IMO the vette wins, great looks, unbelievable power, great noise, the interior is sweet, the exterior.....ahhhhhh
    i am a nissan dealer!
     
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  39. Nice driver.
    I think the corvette is no longer staired with precision.
     
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  40. It just keeps getting faster and faster.
    Fast forward to 2050 and the lap time for a production car will be in the mid 6 second range...
     
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  41. the gtr spec v MIGHT be able to do a 7;20 but its not confirmed nor has nissan released its times.. which leads me to believe they aren't living up to their claim.
     
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