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SSC cracks 500km/h with Tuatara

SSC reclaims speed title as Tuatara reaches 508km/h in Nevada

22 Oct 2020

BUGATTI has officially lost its mantra as the world’s fastest car-maker to SSC after the American brand clocked a 508.73km/h average top speed for its new Tuatara hypercar across two runs, and in doing so, became the first manufacturer to crack the 500km/h barrier.


The record attempt was carried out on October 10 on a closed section of highway in the Nevada desert with racing driver Oliver Webb behind the wheel.


In order to be eligible for the record, the driver must make two runs along the same stretch of road – one in each direction – with the official top speed figure being the average taken from the two runs so to eliminate any variables like gradient or wind direction.


“It’s been 10 years since we held this record with our first car, the Ultimate Aero, and the Tuatara is leagues ahead,” SSC chief executive Jerod Shelby said.


“Its performance reflects the dedication and focus with which we pursued this achievement.


“We came pretty close to meeting the theoretical numbers, which is astonishing to do in a real world setting on a public road.”


Despite beating the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport’s previous record of 490.48km/h by almost 20km/h, Mr Webb said the Tuatara still had more to give.


“With better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” he said.


“As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20mph within the last five seconds.


“It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realising the car’s limit.”


Just how much faster the Tuatara can go remains to be seen with the secret to its already record-breaking performance being class-leading aerodynamics and a massive amount of firepower.


Mounted behind the cabin is a twin-turbocharged 5.9-litre V8 tuned to produce 1305kW of power and 1735Nm of torque on E85, all of which is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed computerised manual transmission.


As for aerodynamics, the Tuatara boasts an official drag coefficient of just 0.279.


Limited to just 100 units globally, only time will tell how long the Tuatara can hold onto its crown as the world’s fastest production car before Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Hennessy or any other marque fires back.

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