Will we have a new world record?

Remember the Tuatara, the concept car that SSC North America, formerly known as Shelby SuperCars, unveiled in 2011? The supercar finally made its debut in production form at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and it seems to deliver exactly what SSC promised seven years ago.

Concept Brought to Reality

The SSC Tuatara is a 1,750-Horsepower Beast With an Eye on 300 MPH and a Thirst for E85 Exterior
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It's not just about the looks, the Tuatara is highly aerodynamic, boasting a drag coefficient of 0.276

Developed as a successor to the SSC Aero, which held the Guinness Book world record for the fastest production car in the world from 2007 to 2010, the Tuatara aims to regain the benchmark for the American company.

The production model looks nearly identical to the concept car on the outside. It’s sleek and aggressive; it has a canopy-style cockpit, and a complex and organic design of the side skirts and the rear fascia. But it’s not just about the looks, the Tuatara is highly aerodynamic, boasting a drag coefficient of 0.276. As SSC points out, it’s lower than the Bugatti Chiron and the Hennessey Venom F5, the Tuatara’s main competitors.

Immense Horsepower

The SSC Tuatara's Twin-Turbo V-8 Is a Work of Art Drivetrain
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The "base" model cranks out 1,350 horsepower, the same as the concept, while the second variant pumps a whopping 1,750 horses.

Things are a bit different under the hood though. While the concept had a twin-turbo, 7.0-liter V-8, the production model sports a 5.9-liter unit. It’s also twin-turbocharged and was developed in cooperation with Nelson Racing Engines, known for tuning V-8 from GM, Ford, and FCA. SCC says the V-8 will be available in two outputs. The "base" model cranks out 1,350 horsepower, the same as the concept, while the second variant pumps a whopping 1,750 horses.

That’s obviously more than the Bugatti Chiron and Koenigsegg Agera are capable of, but it also trumps the estimated output of the Hennessey Venom F5, rated at 1600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet. It’s worth noting that while the first one gulps 91 octane gasoline, the beefed-up Tuatara needs E85 ethanol.

Aiming for the World Record

The SSC Tuatara is a 1,750-Horsepower Beast With an Eye on 300 MPH and a Thirst for E85 Exterior
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SSC says the supercar will hit a top speed of around 300 mph, similar to what Hennessey is aiming with the Venom F5.

Not only powerful, but the Tuatara is also incredibly fast. Or at least that’s what the American firm claims. SSC says the supercar will hit a top speed of around 300 mph, similar to what Hennessey is aiming with the Venom F5. The current world record for production cars sits at 277.9 mph, as established by the Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017.

There’s no word as to when a top speed run will take place, but SSC said it wants to build 100 Tuataras. Expect these supercars to fetch more than $2 million a pop.

Further Reading

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

2006 SSC Ultimate Aero
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SSC Ultimate Aero

Read our full review on the 2006 SSC Ultimate Aero.

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