The SSC Tuatara May Well Be The World's First 300mph Production Car
Step aside Bugatti. And you, Koenigsegg. Because the SSC Tuatara is officially here, having finally been launched by its American manufacturers after years of speculation, teasers and rumours. And it damn well may be the fastest production car ever made.
A brand new hypercar that combines a stonkingly powerful engine with the fact that it's far and away the lightest and most top-speed optimised in its class, the Tuatara has been designed for one job and one job only - to spoil the party that the Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Agera and, potentially, the Hennessey Venom F5 are currently throwing between them.
Starting with the basics, the Tuatara is built off the platform of the SSC Ultimate Aero. If this name sounds familiar, it's because it's the car that very briefly took the world's fastest car title away from the original Bugatti Veyron in 2011. The racier Veyron 16.4 Super Sport later reclaimed the title for the french brand, prompting SSC to "monumentally evolve in all areas of sophistication, design, aerodynamics and sheer all-around performance". And thus, the Tuatara was born.
Despite the fact that the Tuatara shares its DNA with the its predecessor, the similarities end there. It has a new 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from specialist racing engine company Nelson, capable of churning out an unbelievable 1750hp (1305kW) of power.
A brand new chassis and body have both been crafted from Carbon Fibre, the latter of which has been refined so much for aero that the car has a drag co-efficient of just 0.247, making it both lighter and more aerodynamic than the Chiron, the Agera and the Venom F5. Designed by ex-Pininfarina designer Jason Castriota, the car takes inspiration from the aero space industry.
Interestingly, the Tuatara wasn't originally intended to shatter any top speed records. SSC originally had the goal of the car cracking the 440km/h mark that both the Agera RS and the Chiron (theoretically) are capable of breaking, however as the design of the car took shape, the car's engineers realised the potential of the car and revised their target.
Now, the Tuatara intends to be the first production car that breaks 483km/h, or in old money, the mythical 300mph barrier — a mark only passed by a modified Bugatti Chiron. It seems that SSC will be engaged in a race with Hennessey to do so, as their fellow Americans claim that the Venom F5 is also capable of attaining 300mph.
The Tuatara will be produced at a purpose-built facility in West Richland, Washington and production will be limited to 100 cars. It's not known yet how much each Tuatara will cost, or when production on the car will officially begin.