We’ve seen that the AMG GT R holds a slight edge over the All-American Z06 at the technical Hockenheim. So, when the corners open and the Z06 has more room to stretch its legs, one would assume it would demolish the AMG GT-R. As it turns out, that’s exactly what happens — though demolish might be too strong a word.
To name a few advantages, the Z06 boasts 650 hp compared to the GT R ‘s 585. Yes, that extra power is strung together by a stick-and-clutch gearbox, as opposed to the GT R’s paddle-shifted DCT, but that is a significant advantage nonetheless. Plus, it creates more churning force: 650 lb-ft compared to 516 lb-ft. Still, the question remains: at the relatively tight Ring of the Rhine, how much can this additional grunt offer?
The Corvette’s power advantage is complemented by a slightly wider tire, which must carry a car lighter by roughly 155 pounds. Therefore, the big ‘Vette has an advantage in sheer numbers — numbers on the price tag included. It’s more than a collection of choice parts, too; its traction, controllable breakaway, and steering precision — aided by 285-section front tires — inspire confidence.
The Benz boasts some tech-advances, like rear-wheel steering to help it rotate, which seems to give it a slightly sharper edge. Note the steering input required; the Mercedes looks to break away in slightly smaller increments. Occasionally, it requires a mild steering correction mid-corner, and looks to be a slightly nimbler car where it counts. Unfortunately for the GT R, this track has an open, fast flow that favors the Z06.
Since the two cars both use the same Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires, and the conditions of the two laps are quite similar, the Z06’s victory is definitive. Three-tenths of a second over 2.5 miles is a significant margin. That said, the AMG GT R’s advantage at Hockenheim demonstrates that the shape of the course is a deciding factor.
Yet, when considering the price points of these two, a few tenths of a second seem unimportant and fussy. Save with the Chevy and spend the difference on tires — with that much power, they’re not going to last very long, anyways.