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SSC Tuatara Review

Updated: Mar 2

SSC Tuatara


SSC has had a difficult time lately. First, they claim to have broken the world record for the fastest street-legal car with their Tuatara hypercar in October 2020 when they published a top speed of 316 mph (508.73 km/h) over two runs in opposite directions, on a stretch of State Route 160 outside of Las Vegas near Pahrump, where the Agera RS made history in November 2017. Race driver Oliver Webb took the wheel of the SSC Tuatara to shatter the record.

The SSC Tuatara was taken to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Space Florida's Shuttle Landing Facility for this second run, and they made sure to have every type of measurement system and witness to support their point. The Tuatara will be the fastest car in the world. However, that record quickly came under scrutiny by almost everyone, especially on YouTube, and it forced SSC to do a second attempt to put all the rumors to rest.

On January 17, 2021, the owner of the car attempted to break the record once more. Dr. Larry Caplin, per the rules, the car must traverse the same track twice, once in one direction and once in the other, to be eligible for an official world record.

This time, the SSC Tuatara was able to reach an average speed of 282.9 mph (455.2 km/h), which is the current production car world record. It first touched 279.7 mph (450.1 km/h) in the northern direction before reaching 286.1 mph (460.4 km/h) in the southbound route.

It appears a strong gust of wind flipped the trailer with the car inside on the I-15 while the car was traveling to Florida for a second record-setting run in mid-April because at the second attempt described above they didn't reach the magical 300 mph barrier, so they wanted to try again.

However, things took a turn for the worse when the transporter that was carrying the rare 001 record-setting car was involved in an accident. Sadly, the automobile never arrived in Florida intact. Even though the damage is only superficial, according to Shelby, the chassis, drivetrain, and suspension are all in excellent condition, SSC did state the event stating that they will go with a second try, potentially even with this very vehicle.

SSC Tuatara: Engine And Performance

The Nelson Racing Engines twin-turbo 5.9-liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine that powers the SSC Tuatara produces 1,750 horsepower on E85 and 1,350 horsepower on 91 octanes, but if you think SSC would just fix their damaged Tuatara or maybe even construct another one, you are regrettably mistaken. They just revealed details on "the next phase," and it appears they feel 1,750 horsepower is insufficient and will now be releasing two new Tuatara models.

The SSC Tuatara Striker will have enhanced aerodynamics, with their press release claiming an increase of 300% over the original vehicle at 160 mph, thanks to a massive rear wing along with a vertical stabilizer and a new diffuser; at the front, the splitter and dive plate further push the car down; the split is to be 45.4% to the front and 54.6% for the rear; adding even more carbon fiber and Alcantara on the interior will reduce weight. This should imply that the Tuatara Striker is even faster than its current 1,750 horsepower (1,305 kW).

However, SSC has other projects in the works as well. 2,200 horsepower (1,641 kW) would be nice. That's right, the SSC Tuatara Aggressor will have the same modified aero and weight savings as the Striker, but with a significantly more powerful engine. It appears that the Striker won't be road-legal. Additionally, the Tuatara Aggressor may be tailored with unique exhaust tuning, performance options, and customizable looks. However, there is a catch: SSC only produces a tiny fraction of these cars.

SSC Tuatara: Top Speed

The SSC Tuatara's purported top speed run of 330 mph was one of the greatest news stories of 2020. Many claimed there were discrepancies between the automaker's claims and what occurred during that run, which led to controversy after the story's conclusion.

SSC finally had to accept that it had fallen short of the 330 mph goal, and on its subsequent effort, the Tuatara reached a high speed of 282.9 mph. Despite being well below 330 mph, the Tuatara nonetheless beat the Agera RS's previous record of 277.9 mph for top speed.

That outcome didn't satisfy SSC, so it put the Tuatara back on track for another go. As the supercar approached 300 mph, the outcome was more than satisfactory. Finally, the SSC Tuatara achieved a top speed of 295.0 mph (474.8 km/h), making it the fastest production car in the world. Racelogic set the record using two VBOX GNSS systems mounted aboard the Tuatara, together with a Life Racing GPS unit for supplementary data collection.

It appears that SSC wanted to make sure that the record was official this time. Jerod Shelby, CEO of SSC, is genuinely certain that the car could have reached a faster top speed if there had been an additional track.

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