While we’re not entirely sure why the Northern Loop (Nordschleife) of Germany’s Nurburgring circuit has become the universal litmus test of performance cars, it just doesn’t get old watching another ride-along video as someone else tries to set a new lap record.
That said, any comparison between vehicles – like most modern promotional tactics – must be taken with a grain of salt. First, the 13-mile course is so long that ensuring consistent weather and track conditions from one run to another is a bit iffy. In fact, for the video we have today, it is reported that one run was in the dry and the other was semi-wet conditions.
There are other things that some people don’t mention; for example, when running a lap and not using the GP track, one lap is 20,832 meters (12.944 mi) long. There is an option, usually chosen for safety reasons, to cut the lap short by 200 meters (1/8 mile). The very, very fastest cars appear to take this option regularly. At 200 mph, the difference is easily two seconds, so it can be important to understand which route was taken.
The video below takes an interesting approach to comparison by splitting the screen and showing the view from a ZR1 Corvette, driven by Jim Mero, on top and the view from 2012 Nissan GT-R, Toshio Suzuki driving, underneath.
Interesting background information that takes just a little digging to reveal shows that the 2011 Nissan previously logged a fastest time of 7:26.4, which exactly matches the Corvette’s run. For the 2012 model year, Nissan added 45 hp to 530 hp, in addition to a number of aero and chassis improvements. All’s fair in love and war, of course. The ZR1 run was completed near the end of June, 2008, using a 2009 model car with the 638 hp supercharged LS9 6.2-liter V8.
If you find the split screen version a bit hard to watch, we’ve included the original videos as well. Enjoy!
Corvette Only (6/27/2008)
Nissan Only (10/1/2010)