With the mid-engine Corvette set to arrive and an official Nurburgring lap time expected to come with it, one wonders why GM never posted a lap time for the C7-gen Corvette?
Well, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
In an interview with Road & Track, Corvette test driver and former handling engineer Jim Mero revealed that GM scheduled dozens of lap attempts in various C7 Corvette trims from 2013 to 2018, but every single one was met with some form of bad luck.
Starting with the very first C7 ‘Vette taken to The ‘Ring. The initial Z51 production prototype was scheduled to run 8 laps of the 12.9-mile-long test track, but each run was canceled either due to rain or fog. The initial plan was to beat the 991-gen Porsche 911 Carrera S, which lapped The ‘Ring in 7:37.9. Ignoring the cancellation, Mero ran a wet lap of 7:39, but since it was a wet lap that didn’t beat the Porsche, GM never published it.
Next came the Z06 in 2014, which crashed on its very first day. Mero said they were dialing in the new MagneRide suspension for a hot lap, but lost traction and crashed into the wall. "All we could surmise was something got spilled on the track between the two laps.”
GM came back in 2015 with a new Z06 running on a new 100-octane fuel calibration. That time they actually finished a lap and ran a 7:10, but since the 100-octane calibration wasn’t publicly available, GM again didn’t publish the time. Even after the 100-octane version went on sale, GM marketing execs didn’t think the Nurburgring mattered enough to bother publishing.
In 2016, another crashed caused a new version of the Z06 to once again fail to set a time. However, perhaps remembering the C7’s cursed luck, GM engineers brought a new manual Grand Sport to have that set a lap time instead. Mero ran a 7:27, but every camera GM brought either froze or had its batteries die, meaning there was no recording of the lap to publish.
Finally, we arrive in 2018. The ZR1 is set to beat the 7-minute barrier for the first time in a production Chevrolet, but yet another disaster keeps them from achieving their goal. Nurburgring officials told GM’s engineers that they didn’t have enough time to perform a warmup lap, so the ZR1 ran a 7:05 on cold tires.
The next day, engine troubles on the pre-production test mule prevented it from accessing all 755 horsepower that the 6.2-L V8 could produce. It finished in 7:06, but since the time was still slower than then-rival Viper ACR, GM once again didn’t publish.
"Call it a series of unfortunate events, man. You couldn’t make this stuff up,” Mero remarks, and we couldn’t agree more.