SSC Tuatara wants to be king of the Nurburgring, but can they?

A​lready reigns as the fastest car in the world

7w ago

While record-seekers and alcoholics belong from two extremes of the spectrum, they do share one similarity. Both are never entirely satisfied and are always ready for another round. Even after clinching the title of the fastest car in the world on its third attempt, American hypercar maker SSC isn’t exactly content with the capabilities of the Tuatara. It now wants to advance to the next challenge with its record-breaking machine - James May’s beloved racetrack - the Nurburgring.

Automotive website Muscle Cars and Trucks recently caught up with Jerod Shelby, SSC founder and owner and not related to Caroll Shelby in any way. On getting candid with the media house, Shelby went on to say, “We’re talking to a group about Nürburgring, and that will be one of our next focuses after top speed.”

Shelby seems well aware of the massive differences between achieving straight-line speeds and setting a record lap time on a high-speed race track, it being the infamous The Green Hell. “We do understand that is an extreme challenge,” he said. “I think anybody that says ‘we’re gonna go down there and set a great lap time,’ I think they’re crazy.”

History is proof of the perils that await on the way to conquering the Green Hell. In the previous years, Koenigsegg witnessed a massive crash with its One:1 supercar, and so did Tesla with its Model S electric sedan. Even Porsche has seen multiple crashes over the years, and that should provide you with an idea of the risks associated with these record-breaking attempts.

And its not just about the corners or the rough road surface of the over-20km long racetrack. Setting up the car that was initially meant for straight-line speed to clip apexes and go around the corner business faster than expected is a different story altogether. This is where SSC should have its work cut out. Though the Tuatara boasts of a Track Mode which lowers the ride height for better agility and the active rear wing constantly works to provide better aerodynamics, the SSC engineers, along with Jerod Shelby, would like to leave no stone unturned on their way to the Nurburgring racetrack.

“I think it’s such an extreme and technical track,” commented Shelby on the Green Hell. “You gotta have the right driver, you gotta have a great vehicle, and you do a lot of tuning and testing there, because it’s not a smooth track.”

Furthermore, Shelby has no plans to wrap up shop soon when it comes to showcasing Tuatara’s abilities. “As soon as we’re done showing the top speed of the car, we’re going to – in a very public way – we’re going to be showing the quarter-mile and standing mile as well,” he said.

Like I said in the beginning, nothing can entirely please the two groups. Cheers to SSC!

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Comments (12)

  • Perhaps they’d start with conquering Laguna Seca (Randy Pobst - 2019 - unmodified McLaren Senna 1:27.62) before attempting the Nordschleife. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1 month ago
    • I believe SSC follows the reverse order. Biggest records first.

        1 month ago
    • Impressive, I guess I’d be waiting with bated breath for the verified onboard lap record video. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        1 month ago
  • Maybe, like you said its usually not these straight line speed cars that break it, but anything is possible

      1 month ago
  • It'll be quite challenging to achieve the feat with the top speed record car. Maybe they could introduce a purpose built variant for the racetrack, like Koenigsegg have planned for the Jesko.

      1 month ago
  • Depends on driver and tires. The power is there. But can it handle The Green Hell? Let's find out but this time have cameras and third party telemetry the FIRST time. That first stunt speed record was silly.

      1 month ago
  • Unless they make some serious aerodynamic modifications there is no chance. This is a car made for straight line speed. It produces practically no downforce. You need that for high speed cornering. 176 high speed corners means you're dead in a car that has that little downforce.

      1 month ago
    • Valid point. Corners have to be treaded extremely carefully especially with that explosive speed and power!

        1 month ago