Earlier this month, we saw the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 post a blistering time of 7:19.4 at the Nürburgring, which very well may be the fastest recorded lap of a production car at the ‘Ring. We’ve now found out that the ZR1’s record setting lap wasn’t the only lap ran by driver Jim Mero that day. Mero had a go in the ZR1’s little brother, the Z06, and managed to pull off an incredible 7:22.68 around the Nürburgring — a 20-second improvement over the last time a Z06 looped ’round the ‘Ring.
Like the 2012 Corvette ZR1 that we first saw earlier this month, the 2012 Corvette Z06 was completely stock, as it would be delivered to a customer. The Z06 packs a 7.0-liter 505-hp LS7 V-8 and it’s the lightest Corvette that Chevrolet currently makes. The last time a Z06 made its way around the Nürburgring driven by Corvette engineers in 2005, it managed to pull off a lap time of 7:42 which is impressive, but no record.
So what’s changed in the Z06 since then? One letter, and two numbers: Z07. This Z06 Corvette was equipped with the Z07 package which includes all the best bits from the ZR1, including Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, Chevrolet’s Performance Tracking Management, Magnetic Selective Ride Control and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires; the same super-sticky street-legal tires that the ZR1 was equipped with on its record ride.
The 2012 Corvette Z06’s new Nürburgring time of 7:22.68 is made even more amazing by the fact that it’s just a tick off the previous record holder’s time, the 2009 Dodge Viper ACR (7:22.1), and only 3.28 seconds behind the Corvette ZR1’s time posted earlier this month. The Z06 is three seconds slower around the Nürburgring then the ZR1, yet $35,925 cheaper (ok, $25,480 when equipped with the $9495 Z07 package). Comparatively speaking, it’s a performance bargain, quite possibly making the 2012 Corvette Z06 with the Z07 package the Corvette to own.