The successor to SSC's first hypercar, Ultimate Aero, the Tuatara has snatched back the crown of the world's fastest production car for the North American marque.
SSC North America, formerly known as Shelby SuperCars (no relation to Carol Shelby), has become a veteran over the years when it comes to breaking speed records for production cars. It all started way back in 2007 when the SSC Ultimate Aero dethroned the erstwhile reigning champion, the Bugatti Veyron (408.4km/h), to officially become the fastest road-legal production car on the planet and set a new world record, with a blistering top speed of 412.21km/h (average figure of two runs conducted in opposite directions).
Now though, the North American brand has set yet another world speed record for a road-legal production car, of course, by dethroning a fellow competitor. The SSC Tuatara, which is the brand's latest hypercar and the successor to the Ultimate Aero, has managed to clock an average speed of 508.73km/h in its two runs, conducted at State Route 160 just outside Las Vegas. The record was made with professional racer Oliver Webb behind the wheel.
Though the record has been held by multiple contenders over the 13-year gap, the latest record holder was the Koenigsegg Agera RS (447.19km/h). Though the Chiron Super Sport 300+ (490.48km/h) is quicker than the Agera RS, the Bugatti frontrunner has been discounted from the Guinness World Record contention due to unmet technical requirements of its record run.
Coming back to the Tuatara, it's powered by a 5.9-litre twin-turbo V8 that sits in the middle (designed in partnership with Nelson Racing Engines). All of the 1,332bhp is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed robotised manual gearbox and thanks to extensive carbon fibre bodywork, the SSC Tuatara tips the scales at just 1,247kgs. And this is a car that offers a decent bit of modern-day equipment like power windows, air conditioning, a digital driver display, etc.
Only 100 units of the SSC Tuatara will be produced, with prices anywhere between $1.6-$1.9 million.