SSC wants to design a less powerful, more affordable Tuatara

Having set a new world speed record for production cars at 316.1 mph in October 2020, the SSC Tuatara is the supercar of the moment. It took SSC almost nine years to turn the concept car into a production model, but we can finally see why. Not only the fastest car on the planet, but the Tuatara is also among the most powerful thanks to a race-spec V-8 engine that cranks out 1,750 horsepower on E85 fuel. The issue with the Tuatara is that it’s extremely exclusive and expensive, but SSC wants to fix that with a "baby Tuatara."

Is SSC taking the McLaren route?

The SSC Tuatara Will Have A Baby Brother
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A few years ago, McLaren was only selling one supercar at a time. The iconic F1, for instance, was extremely expensive, but it was the only choice if you wanted a car with a "McLaren" badge on it. But the Brits eventually expanded to include a multi-model lineup with notably more affordable sports cars alongside the usual supercars. Their Ultimate Series includes the Senna, Speedtail, and Elva, which cost more than $1 million, but the Super Series offers the 720S, priced from a little over $300,000. Then there’s the entry-level Sports Series with models like the 540C and 570S, both priced under $200,000.

SSC isn't planning on releasing three different product lines, but it wants to develop a more affordable supercar.

According to SSC owner Jerod Shelby, the "baby Tuatara" "would be a car that looks very much like the Tuatara, but it would be in the 600 to 700 horsepower range." It would also cost notably at "$300,000 to $400,000." For reference, the Tuatara costs around $1.9 million.

The SSC Tuatara Will Have A Baby Brother Exterior
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The goal is to make the SSC brand more accessible to supercar enthusiasts, exactly what McLaren achieved with the Super Series and Sports Series lineups. "Instead of one-tenth of 1% of the population that can afford a Tuatara or any of these hypercars, would make it more in that range where you might see three or four in a lot of cities," Shelby told CarBuzz.

A rival for the McLaren 720S

The SSC Tuatara Will Have A Baby Brother Exterior
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A Tuatara-like car with 600+ horsepower and a sticker below $400,000 would place SSC in an entry-level supercar market that currently includes models like the McLaren 720S and the Ferrari F8 Tributo. Both are powered by twin-turbo V-8 engines deliver identical outputs at 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Both hit 60 mph in just under three seconds hit a top speed of a little over 210 mph. The McLaren 720S comes in at around $302,000, while the Ferrari F8 Tributo starts from around $295,000.

The "baby Tuatara" could end up costing a bit more than the 720S and F8 Tributo, but it could also deliver better performance.

This supercar could be aimed at the beefed-up McLaren 765LT, which comes with 755 horsepower on tap and hits 60 in just 2.7 seconds. The 765LT is also more expensive at around $360,000.

The SSC Tuatara Will Have A Baby Brother Exterior
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Production of this new supercar won’t be limited to only 100 units like the Tuatara. SSC will probably aim for around 500 examples, but a second model will have to wait. SSC can only produce 25 cars per year, and this capacity won’t be reached until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic. A second model requires a bigger factory, so the "baby Tuatara" might not happen until 2023.

Source: Carbuzz

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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