With its new ultimate speed weapon, the C7 Corvette ZR1, Chevrolet is hoping to crack the seven-minute Nürburgring Nordschleife lap-time barrier – a feat that precious few street-legal production vehicles have so far been able to manage. Prototypes of the new, 755-horsepower Porsche-fighter have been spotted running around the Nürburgring before, of course, but the car has not yet had the opportunity to try its hand at setting a proper record lap time due to the track’s tight restrictions on when manufacturers are allowed to give it the old “college try”.
Speaking to Road & Track, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said that setting an official Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time for the C7 ZR1 is not a priority for the manufacturer, but that Chevrolet will nonetheless make an attempt some time after the new model reaches showrooms in the spring. Assuming the automaker is indeed able to pull off a lap quicker than seven minutes, it would mean the car is substantially quicker than the previous-generation C6 ZR1, which turned out a 7:19.63 lap in 2011.
In that endeavor, grip will be of the utmost importance, and the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1’s aggressive aerodynamic pieces and wide performance tires ought to provide plenty of it. No doubt Chevrolet would run an example fitted with the optional ZTK performance package, which boasts super-grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and a two-way adjustable rear wing that contributes to 60 percent more downforce than the C7 Corvette Z06 with Z07 package.
We can’t wait to see what sort of time the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 can set at “The Green Hell,” and especially, whether it manages a faster lap than that other all-American monster-downforce-generating machine: the Dodge Viper ACR. (A crowdfunded privateer campaign produced a 7:01.3 Nürburgring lap time for the Viper ACR before the car crashed, putting an end to the efforts.)