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Confirmed: SSC is Building a Hybrid Tuatara with AWD

The SSC Tuatara Hybrid could go by a different name, and it will feature AWD

Topping out as the world’s fastest production car in 2022, the SSC Tuatara is one of the most iconic American cars of this decade. Now, it seems that SSC owner, Jerod Shelby, has something on his mind to keep the crown in-house. A recent report from Motor Authority claims that the Washington-based hypercar company is planning an electrified version of the Tuatara with an AWD system. Does this mean it’ll be even more capable?

Confirmed: SSC is Building a Hybrid Tuatara with AWD
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The hybridized iteration of the Tuatara might not bear the same name, though.

[On May 25, 2022, the Tuatara passed the 295 mph mark, a feat that came with great emotion after its strong claim of 316 mph was shot down as illegitimate in 2020. According to the latest report, SSC’s founder and CEO said, “the electrification of the car will make it a more well-rounded vehicle”. This means that the upcoming Tuatara will be a more road-biased, more efficient, more fun-to-drive hypercar with enhanced vehicle dynamics.

However, Shelby confirmed a couple of details about this upcoming Tuatara hybrid. First, he stated that an AWD system would be a part of it, with two electric motors on the front axle. This is practically a given since all Tuataras currently on the market are RWD cars. Secondly, the electrified iteration of the world’s fastest production car will have an independent production timeline and maybe a different name too. Shelby also explained that the hybrid model would have a limited production run, which means it will not be a part of the 125 promised Tuataras. There’s no definite date for production, but deliveries are said to begin in 2025.

Confirmed: SSC is Building a Hybrid Tuatara with AWD Exterior
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The Tuatara hybrid might not have the present top speed capabilities, or even the monstrous performance.

As for the powertrain, we are not sure whether SSC is developing a smaller and less powerful engine, or if the hybrid will feature the same 5.9-liter twin-turbo V-8. Even at that, it’s still a mystery as to whether or not the engine will be tuned down or will continue to deliver 1,750 horsepower. But what we are sure about is the more track-focused Tuatara Striker, which is said to debut at the Quail in August 2022. Being a high-downforce version of the Tuatara, the Striker enhances downforce by 1,000 pounds at 160 mph, compared to 362 pounds of the standard model, thanks to a more aerodynamic body kit. In addition, the kit includes a revised rear diffuser, an active rear wing, a new front splitter, and dive planes. However, the powertrain of the Striker will remain unchanged, and so are the power figures.

Confirmed: SSC is Building a Hybrid Tuatara with AWD Exterior
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The big question now is whether or not the Tuatara hybrid will be a PHEV and will compete against the Ferrari SF90 Stradale or if it’ll be a mild hybrid that simply charges on the fly and during braking.

Source: Motor Authority

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automotive Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
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