Lead Chevy Camaro Engineer Wants a Sub-7-Minute Nurburgring Lap

GM's pony car will have to evolve into a warhorse to break the barrier.

Inside The 2016 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

No front-engined road car has ever lapped the Nurburgring in under seven minutes. Dodge's now-deceased Viper came close, achieving a 7:01.3 before a tire failure force-fed the snake a length of guardrail. The closest any bowtie-badged car has come to the seven-minute mark was a 7:14, recorded by the Corvette Z06 in 2017 by Auto Motor und Sport. Last summer, the Camaro ZL1 1LE recorded a time just on the heels of the Corvette, a 7:16, and Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer for the Camaro, expressed an interest in seeing the Camaro limbo under the seven-minute bar.

"Wouldn’t it be cool to see a Camaro under 7:00 at the Nurburgring? I’d like to see it," stated Oppenheiser to Hagerty on Monday, where he also revealed the Camaro could also get a drag pack to compete with the likes of the Dodge Demon and Ford Shelby Mustang GT500.

Camaro ZL1 1LE Track Package
The Drive

The Camaro is not the only Chevy with a possible attempt at a sub-seven 'Ring lap in its future. Chevy will try to use the 2019 Corvette ZR1 to break seven minutes later this year and to do so, the ZR1 will need to improve on the Z06's time by at least 14 seconds. If the Corvette smashes through seven with enough force, it might tow the Camaro along with it.

As mentioned earlier, the ZL1 1LE was just over two seconds behind the Z06, so if General Motors can improve enough upon the C7 Corvette between its penultimate Z06 and ultimate ZR1 forms, the same refinement applied to the upcoming Camaro Z28 could put it in contention for a record of its own.

We'll know how close Oppenheiser's dream is to reality when the ZR1 hits the 'Ring this spring.