Limited to 100 units and at a starting price of US $1.6 Million, the SSC Tuatara, with a jaw dropping top speed of 532 km/h is now officially the fastest production car money can buy. Made by SSC North America, the very same company that gave us the SSC Ultimate Aero, a car which held the crown within the same category between 2007 and 2010 before losing it to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
October 10th – State Route 160 – Nevada, USA
The claim to fame of the SSC Tuatara happened on the 10th of October 2020, along a 7 mile (11 km) portion of public road in Nevada, USA. British racing driver Oliver Webb piloted the car to its top speed averaging 508.73 km/h between two consecutive opposite runs as required by world record officials. The car topped 484.53 km/h on one run and on the counter direction run, clocked in the astonishing speed of 532.93 km/h.
Farewell Koenigsegg Agera RS ( And Bugatti Chiron)
Until the extraordinary feat of the SSC tuatara, the title of ‘Fastest Production Vehicle’ officially belonged to the Koenigsegg Agera RS. Managing to reach a top speed of 458 km/h and an average of 447 km/h on the very same road where the Tuatara has now stolen its crown.
In contrast, the Bugatti Chiron Sport 300+ did reach a top speed of 490.48 km/h in 2019. Unfortunately it did not qualify for a world record as it only performed a single top speed run instead of the two opposite runs required.
How Does The SSC Tuatara Get To Its Top Speed Of 532 km/h?
The Tuatara has a carbon fibre monocoque construction. This makes it light but yet strong and capable of providing adequate safety to its driver & passenger. Power comes from a custom-made twin turbo 5.9L V8 built in collaboration with Nelson Racing Engines. It achieves 1750 horsepower on E85 fuel (A blend of Ethanol & Petrol) or 1350 horsepower on 91 Octane. At 0.27, its coefficient of drag is also impressive considering the Agera R and Chiron have a drag coefficient of 0.33 & 0.36 respectively.
The ability of the SSC Tuatara to reach its top speed is further accentuated by its tyres. Equipped with probably the best tyres in the business, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Variants of which equips high end and performance cars including the Agera and Chiron.
How Does The Tuatara Drive?
The car itself has two driving modes. Now you may think as its rivals, it would have a track focused mode and a standard or normal mode. But you’d be wrong. While the Tuatara does come with Track Mode. The very mode through which a series of engineering witchcraft gets the car effortlessly to its obscene speeds. It’s default and most subtle mode is Sports Mode. Not Comfort Mode, Not even Normal Mode. Sports Mode!
Being a performance oriented vehicle, in Sports Mode (“Normal Mode”), the Tuatara maintains its sports characteristics while being a more friendly car to drive. Several driver testimonials claim the car is surprisingly suited for everyday urban driving. The driver benefits from a higher ride height with smoother gear shifts. It even has a front lift mode which raises the front suspension by 40mm to clear speed bumps.
Inside The Tuatara
The Tuatara is surprisingly well equipped car for its class. It steers away from the feel of a kit car’s interior. Whilst it may not be on par with the interior of a Bugatti, it still remains cocooning enough. Despite being a driver focused performance car, the car’s cabin, seats and dash is lined in leather and Alcantara with bits of exposed carbon fibre. Additionally, the long list of options allows customers to spec their car to their exact taste.
Standard equipment of the Tuatara include power windows, climate control and a premium audio system. All controlled by SSC’s in-house touch screen system on its centre console. The rear view mirror besides being a mirror also displays a rear view camera along with sideview cameras which provide blind spot viewing.
Anyone who decides to splurge on this car can rejoice to the fact that the Tuatara offers some decent luggage space. Big enough to accommodate your essentials in a weekender bag for a weekend escape or simply to throw in your daily office gear.
The Tuatara is an engineering marvel. A stunner on the outside with a solid well appointed interior. Surprisingly pleasant in town and an abosulute killer on a straight. It defies and distorts the laws of physics. The SSC Tuatara proves it is not only a hypercar but the hypercar of all hypercars.
Watch the teaser to ‘American Hyperspeed: The Race To 300 MPH’, a soon to be released film featuring the SSC Tuatara