The Tuatara is Shelby Supercars' (SSC) second vehicle set to take on the Bugatti Veyron. The Ultimate Aero gave the Bugatti a run for its money, but the Tuatara - or the Ultimate Aero II as previously named by the media - will take to overtaking the Veyron where the Aero fell short. The Tuatara is powered by a 6.8L quad-cam, twin-turbo V8. The engine, like all the other mechanical parts, are all developed in-house by SSC themselves. The new powerplant shares a lot with the old 6.2 liter item – the block and its innards are the same design, so are the dimensions and location of its 10 radiators. Changes come in the form of a four-valves-per-cylinder overhead cam (OHC) setup as opposed to push rods and new SSC spec turbochargers. The new setup is good for a colossal 1350HP and will rev to 9000RPM! Zero to 62mph will arrive in around 2.8 seconds and SSC claims a top speed of 275mph!
The upcoming SSC Tuatara is the hotly anticipated sophomore album from the Washington-based SSC North America team. SSC has built a name for itself via impressive top-speed-record runs with its existing model, the Diablo -esque SSC Ultimate Aero XT.
The Tuatara’s development continued this spring with engine and gearbox setups being refined since the concept car was revealed in late 2011. The new model builds a stunning exterior and interior atop the brute-force mechanical package from the Ultimate Aero XT . The latest news to emerge from the firm is a 250 pound-feet bump in engine torque following durability testing, and news of a 300 mph speedometer, feeding rumors of a top speed well above the 276 mph initially quoted.
The style and presence of the white concept Tuatara created quite a stir when shown at Pebble Beach in 2011. Designed by the talented-but-bizarre Jason Castriota of SAAB and Fiat fame, the Tuatara most closely resembles the 2006 Maserati Birdcage 75th concept car in its smooth flowing panels and deep, milky-white paint finish. Castriota also worked on the Birdcage, but was not the lead designer. He now runs an independent design consultancy called Castriota Design.
UPDATE 5/1/2013: SSC just completed testing the Tuatara on the dyno and released all of the results. A release date has been officially set too. See more after the jump
Please follow the jump to learn more about the SSC Tuatara ahead of its first customer deliveries in January 2014.
When we decided to pit the two top supercars against one another, the list had to include the Bugatti Veyron , the Goliath of the supercar world. Its competitor, on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as clear cut, as there are numerous cars that you can match up against the Veyron and get a good fight.
The first one that we looked at was the Hennessey Venom GT and its 1,244-horsepower V-8. In all honesty, the Hennessey just feels more like a kit car to us, thanks to its Lotus Elise base. Granted, that’s one bad-ass, Bugatti killing kit car, but it still just didn’t feel right to us.
After spanning the globe trying to find a good competitor, we ended up right back in the U.S. with the all-new SSC Tuatara . This limited production supercar definitely has the power to handle the likes of the Veyron on paper, but we really need to dig in deep to see what really happens when we put them up against each other.
To find out who wins you’ll have to click past the jump.
SSC North America , better known as the parent company of models like the record breaking Ultimate Aero and the recently unveiled Tuatara , announced it will be dropping the Shelby name from its title, opting to only use the SSC nomenclature. Apparently, there was way too much confusion when it came to whether or not Jerod Shelby (SSC’s founder) was in any way related to automotive legend, Carroll Shelby.
Jerod Shelby, Founder and Lead Designer, said in an official press release: "After several months of successfully launching our new corporate name and solidifying further International brand awareness for SSC at the Dubai International Motor Show and Top Marques in Macau, it was the right time to officially announce our name change."
"We have always wanted to focus on the pride associated with being an American built supercar and the timing is right," Shelby stated. "We have previously launched the Tuatara in both Shanghai and Pebble Beach and these two events in Dubai and Macau ensure the appropriate branding we are hoping to achieve for our company worldwide."
We don’t necessarily see how only using SSC will stop the annoying "relation" question from being asked, especially since SSC stands for Shelby Super Cars anyway, but with vehicles like the Aero and the Tuatara diving into the supercar market, Jerod Shelby will more than likely get his own following.
We’re rounding off our Best of 2011 lists with one that is near and dear to our hearts. This list is all about top speed and top speed only, those who have it and one who hopes to achieve it.
Of course, speed hopes are nothing new. The battle for the fastest car in the world has been ongoing since the sports and super cars first made their appearance and more than likely, it will never end. These past couple years have been a game of one-upmanship between SSC and Bugatti with both succeeding in one way or another. But who tops the list for 2011?
Before getting into that, we think it is important to note that we only incorporated vehicles that were sold in 2011. For example, the Koenigsegg CCX may have a top speed of 240 mph, but that production ended in 2010, which takes the supercar out of the running for this list in particular. Don’t worry, though, Koenigsegg is still well-represented.
Hit the jump to see the top ten list of the fastest cars of 2011.
Going through all of the glorious supercars of 2011 was no easy task, especially since it felt like every random country of the world was developing their own supercar. Each vehicle we came across deserved to have their time to shine on the list for best supercar of 2011, but as time went on, it was clear which ones stood out above all of the rest.
A couple of the supercars on the list shouldn’t surprise anyone, especially since they were created by one of the top supercar makers in the world. Then there are the relative newbies to the group that have received enough recognition to warrant praise from the average car enthusiast, but the final vehicle would probably not be recognized by many and its home country may actually cause ridicule to ensue. The end result, however, was enough to give it a spot on our list.
Hit the jump to check out which of the supercar bad boys made it to the top of our list for Supercar of the Year.
SSC’s answer to Bugatti’s record breaking Veyron came in the form of the ultra-fast and expertly designed Tuatara released about a year ago. This supercar boasts of an insane quad-cam, twin-turbo 6.8L V8 barreling out a colossal 1350HP and a proposed top speed of 275 mph! Basically, this car is shaping up to be a heart-stopping, Veyron-slaying super car of epic proportions, and now we can match the killer looks and power with the advanced interior recently developed by SSC .
This futuristic interior was developed following the aerospace design found on the exterior. In fact, many of the interior elements found on the Tuatara resemble specific elements of the exterior. For example, the two small, informational HUD displays situated on the left and right of the driver are inspired by the Tuatara’s rear winglets and the central AC vents were inspired by the Tuatara’s twin central exhausts. The holes pattern on the top of the central console area are inspired by the hole patterns on the Tuatara’s exterior body panels and the door pulls even have their exterior counterpart in the flying buttresses from the rear sides of the car.
In an interview with Motor Trend, Durheimer had this to say: “You know we have the speed record with Bugatti and there are always rumors around that someone, maybe Koeniggsegg could come, and do another record. No matter where the Veyron project is if someone comes… we would strike back."
Fighting words, indeed.
For now, the Veyron is nearing its run and other automakers, particularly Koenigsegg and SSC , have released their new supercars - the Agera R and the Tuatara - with the intention of toppling the Veyron Super Sport’s 267.85 mph record. But if you heard Durheimer’s words, then all these other brands best be warned. Bugatti’s not conceding the world’s top speed record to anybody without a serious fight.
Snow balls in hell be damned; we’ve got a fight on our hands!