Nurburgring paparazzi already have an unofficial lap time.
The closer we get to the inevitable introduction of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06, the more we learn about it. Not from Chevy, but rather from the rumor mill and videos like the one you will shortly enjoy. The Corvette Z06 has been spied going around the Nurburgring, and you can tell a lot by looking and listening. We might even have an unofficial time…
First, a summary of what we know so far. As we reported earlier this year, the Z06 will take care of most automotive hacks' main criticism against it. The standard C8 is equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 producing 490 horsepower, which is already an indecent amount in a car that weighs just 3,366 lbs. It's proper fast, as well, getting to 60 mph in around three seconds. We've already seen footage of the launch control in action, and the Z06 looks and sounds even faster.
So what's the problem? Well, now that the Corvette is mid-engined, it competes directly with Italian exotica. It does so very well until you hit the peak power at 6,450 rpm. That's just not enough for a supercar.
Rumor has it, the Z06 will use a version of Cadillac's 4.2-liter hand-built V8 Blackwing engine, sans turbochargers. It won't be turbocharged, but it will have a flat-plane crankshaft. That's the main reason it sounds so different from the standard Vette. The rumors suggest 616 hp and a 9,000 rpm redline. Oh, joy. That would make it the world's most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 engine.
What else can we tell from the video? Chevrolet is returning to the four central exhaust pipes, and it will have an ostentatious fixed rear wing.
Most telling of all is the number of revs available and how quickly it shifts gears. Chevy is also sharing the track with the public, explaining why the test driver isn't entirely dedicated. As you can see earlier in the video, he doesn't aim directly for the apex or push the car to the point where the rear steps out. It almost seems as if he's building up to something big.
Later on, we can see the Vette being pushed hard. Another Z06 also makes an appearance, and it doesn't have a flashy rear wing. Is Chevrolet pulling a Porsche? Will there be two versions of the Z06, like the 911 GT3 and the 911 GT3 Touring? One for extroverts, and another for people who want to fly under the radar? The final part of this story is the unofficial lap time. As you might know, the Nurburgring has its own dedicated paparazzi who also do some timing. The fastest lap we've seen so far is 7:12.64, which is nowhere near what this car is capable of.
First, it's quite obvious the drivers aren't pushing the car to the limit yet. Secondly, the track is full of traffic, like learner drivers in Golf GTIs. We can only imagine. A 7:12 already puts it on par with the previous-generation 911 GT3 (7:12.70) and faster than the standard Ferrari 488 GTB, which posted 7:21.63. Can Chevrolet get it below seven minutes? We really do hope so because that would make this Kentucky-built American supercar faster than the McLaren 600LT and 720 S and faster even than the track-focused Ferrari 488 Pista.