SSC Tuatara: Challenger of Speed Resurrected

A hypercar meant to take the title of the fastest road car had been thought lost after the original announcement in 2011. Now it's back.

1y ago

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Shelby Supercars or SSC is best remembered for the Ultimate Aero TT that became the world's fastest production car as certified by Guiness World Records with an average top speed of 414.28kph in September 2007. But after the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport took that crown off them with a certified top speed of 431kph in July 2010, SSC announed that it was working on a new hypecar project to be even faster and that it will be named the Tuatara. That was in 2011 and we hadn't heard much of it since. Until now.

SSC North America has finally unveiled a close-to-production version of the Tuatara to the public at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance event in California along with some meaty performance numbers. The all carbon-fibre body and chassis will house a 5.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine in a flat-plane configuration that has been engineered and assembled in partnership with Nelson Racing Engines to produce a maximum of 1,750HP. That is if you run it on E85 Flex fuel, but with more readily available 91 Octane fuel you'd still get 1,350HP out of the same engine. The idea for the Tuatara once it clears all the checks and balances to make it a road legal production car, is that with the right fuel and max power it should be able to achieve a top speed in excess of 300mph (483kph) and retake the title of being the fastest. All that power is sent to the rear-wheels only via a 7-speed 'computerised manual' transmission with a 'robotic shift system'.

The current record is held by Koenigsegg when the 1,360HP Agera RS for a verified average top speed of 447.2kph. However the Swedish carmaker may try to push that number higher with an upcoming model or maybe even the Regera. The 1,500HP Bugatti Chiron is yet to make an official attempt to claim the top-speed record but is sold from factory with a restricted top speed of 423kph. A more evenly matched contender for the record and the magic number of 300mph is the Hennessey Venom F5 which claims a total output of around 1,600HP from a 7.6-litre twin-turbo V8 engine.

Power is only part of the equation along with the aerodynamics, the tyres and the weight of the car. SSC claims that the mid-engined Tuatara will have a dry weight of just under 1,248kgs with a 0.279 coefficient of drag. Both figures are lower than that the rivals and that's a good thing in this category.

Only a 100 units will be built with no word yet on the starting price. Nor are they many details regarding the interiors of the Tuatara but more information is promised as they near the 2019 production model deadline, so stay tuned.

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Comments (1)

  • Tiny windows and ugly rear!

      1 year ago
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