Will it have what it takes to run in a segment bolstered by some seriously fast competition?

U.S.-based supercar producer SSC has been quiet for several years now, but just broke the silence with a new teaser image of its forthcoming model. Dubbed the Tuatara, the fresh offering looks to take on the best of the best for ultimate top speed production glory.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

2014 SSC Tuatara Exterior
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SSC North America, previously known as Shelby SuperCars, Inc., is best known as the company that produced the SSC Ultimate Aero, a mid-engine two-door that snagged the record for fastest production car in the world back in 2007 by going an impressive 256.14 mph. SSC held that record for about three years, but was eventually dethroned by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010.

As a follow-up to the Ultimate Aero, SSC introduced a new concept in 2011 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Dubbed the Tuatara, SSC said a production version was in the works, with plans to build it at a new facility in the company’s home state of Washington in 2013. However, delays put a damper on SSC’s momentum, and things have been quiet ever since.

Until today. Now, SSC has returned with a new teaser image to once again stoke the flames of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the teaser doesn’t come with any new information, merely offering a single shadowy outline of the car and its headlights, as well as the tag line “The Evolution Is Coming.”

2014 SSC Tuatara Exterior
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Last time we heard from SSC, the Tuatara came equipped with an aluminum turbocharged 6.9-liter V-8 making as much as 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque, with output rising to 1,700 horses with all the emissions stuff disconnected.

In case you were wondering, the Tuatara name comes from a type of lizard native to New Zealand. Last time we heard from SSC, the Tuatara came equipped with an aluminum turbocharged 6.9-liter V-8 making as much as 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque, with output rising to 1,700 horses with all the emissions stuff disconnected. Power is routed exclusively to the rear axle by way of a seven-speed semi-automatic transmission. Dry weight is rated at 2,750 pounds thanks to a carbon fiber and aluminum body and frame, plus there’s carbon brakes and adjustable suspension to help it handle. Redline is set at 9,200 rpm, with the 0-to-60 mph sprint done in 2.3 seconds. Top speed was originally rated at 276 mph.

Outside, there’s wild, space-age looking styling, with the cab placed in the middle and ultra-sleek aerodynamics. The concept’s interior is also ludicrously high-tech-looking, although we doubt all those cues will make it into the production version.

2014 SSC Tuatara Exterior
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There's been a lot of new entries since the Tuatara was first revealed in concept form back in 2011, with a bevy of impressive machines dropping cover just in the past year.

The SSC Tuatara is expected to cost around $1.3 million a pop, with production limited to less than a few hundred units.

The real question is this – will this thing have what it takes to hang with the biggest and baddest in the modern supercar market? There’s been a lot of new entries since the Tuatara was first revealed in concept form back in 2011, with a bevy of impressive machines dropping cover just in the past year. For example, there’s top contenders like the Mercedes-AMG Project 1 and Hennessey Venom F5, not to mention our pick for Best Supercar of 2017, the Aston Martin Valkyrie. It’s also worth noting Koenigsegg just went 277.9 mph in a run on public roads in Nevada, beating SSC’s projected top speed.

All told, the Tuatara might have some catching up to do.

References

SSC Ultimate Aero

2006 SSC Ultimate Aero
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SSC Ultimate Aero

Read our full review on the 2006 SSC Ultimate Aero.

SSC Tuatara

2014 SSC Tuatara Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2014 SSC Tuatara.

Source: SSC North America

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