SSC North America has been teasing us with the Tuatara supercar since 2011. The highly anticipated vehicle could finally become a reality next year, as the Washington-based manufacturer is laying ground for a state-of -the-art production facility in West Richland, WA.
The company’s plan to move its operations in a new facility isn’t new, but the project has been lagging for a about a year due to financial difficulties. Fortunately, SSC North America has managed to find the necessary funding for the $6-million project and construction of the facility is set to start in August 2014, Tri-City Herald reports.
SSC’s new headquarters will be located on a 40-acre land near Belmont Boulevard and Keene Road. The facility will include everything: an assembly line, a showroom to offices, and even a museum area. The factory should open in the first quarter of 2015. "This is a lifelong dream for me. We will get there and the project will be very successful," said company founder Jerod Shelby.
Click past the jump to read more about the SSC Tuatara.
First Tuatara to Hit the Streets in 2015
Although the facility will open in early 2015, deliveries of the upcoming Tuatara won’t begin right away. The company will run a six-month test-assembly process before the first supercars are built to cover existing preorders, the report adds. However, SSC plans to manufacturer 12 Tuataras by the end of 2015, which would represent a massive improvement in terms of production capacity. Previously, SSC employees were able to to put together only four to five vehicles a year.
But Jarod Shelby says SSC won’t stop at just 12 examples per year. Annual production is scheduled to jump up to 24 to 30 units, even though each car is hand assembled, with no robotics included in the process. The number of employees will thus grow from 14 to about 26. Naturally, SSC is already working on brand-new models, including an all-electric supercar envisioned to feature "an adaptable electric drive system." We don’t know what that is, but we bet it will be really fast.
Why It Matters
Back when the Ultimate Aero was still in production, the cars have had to leave Shelby’s shop multiple times to have certain parts finished in other facilities. That resulted in a slow manufacturing process and higher costs for the company, which also translated into heftier prices for the customers. Now that SSC will finally be able to build its supercars in house, Shelby will not only increase production capacity, but lower manufacturing costs and perform preliminary testing without leaving the premises. All told, SSC is gearing up to become a full-time automaker.
The Tuatara is SSC’s second supercar, replacing the Ultimate Aero, which was retired in 2013. The Tuatara keeps the Ultima te Aero’s mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration and features a huge, 6.9-liter V-8 under the hood. The billet aluminum block is force fed by a pair of turbochargers, and SSC claims it will churn out 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque.
The car will tip the scales at only 2,750 pounds due to its carbon-fiber construction and aluminum crumple zones, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of more than 1,000 horsepower per tonne. This will not only better the Koenigsegg One:1 ’s ratio, but SSC also claims the Tuatara will shatter numerous speed records. Preliminary figures show the supercar will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in only 2.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 276 mph. For the record, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport , the world’s fastest production car as of June 2014, took the Guinness World Record benchmark to 267.857 mph in 2010.
Expect for the Tuatara to fetch at least $1.3 million once it hits dealerships.