The SSC Tuatara is currently in production at the SSC North America assembly facility in Richland, Washington. The vehicle is the result of a design collaboration between Jason Castriota and SSC North America and was titled the “Crown Jewel” of the 2011 Dubai International Motor Show. The car made its debut at the 2020 Philadelphia Auto Show. The vehicle is limited to 100 examples. On October 10, 2020, driver Oliver Webb allegedly broke the production car speed record in the SSC Tuatara with a top speed of 331.15 miles per hour and a 2-way average of 316.11 mph on a closed public roadway with street tires and non-race fuel. The claim, however, has since been disputed by several sources who analyzed the video and information given from SSC North America and have since made claims that the top speed run was illegitimate.
On January 17, 2021, Tuatara owner and non-professional driver Larry Caplin officially broke the speed record for fastest production vehicle with an average 2-way average speed of 282.9 mph on a 2.5 mile stretch of runway at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility. The claim was verified by Race Logic, with a technician onsite to install and analyze the data. SSC has stated that it plans on continuing high speed testing to validate the top speed of the Tuatara and hopes to be the first production car to reach and surpass 300 mph. The high speed runs were driven by the owner of the Tuatara, Larry Caplin, a non-professional driver. Present at the test was Race Logic, an automotive telemetry firm, and independent analyst Robert Mitchell, who was one of most outspoken critics of SSC’s October 2020 speed claim. The data was confirmed as accurate, making the Tuatara the fastest production car in the world by industry standards.
The design of the Tuatara goes further than visual appearance. The intentional design of the body was meticulously crafted to carry the car through the air with unprecedented ease. Boasting a coefficient of drag lower than any other car in its class, the Tuatara is well balanced between unmatched aerodynamics and precision downforce at top speed. Rear static winglets, side mounted buttresses, forward static wing, and a rear active wing manipulate the smooth flowing air to distribute precision down force on the wheels. Air is also diverted to intakes that efficiently cool the powerful drive train, then expelled through perforations in the body to sustain the deliberate airflow. Downforce is systematically applied across the hypercar, providing perfect balance at all speeds. The heart of the Tuatara is an engineering masterpiece in and of itself. Years of meticulous design and engineering at SSC North America culminated into unadulterated power generated from an engine built from the ground up exclusively for the Tuatara.
The Tuatara’s unprecedented power is transferred to a CIMA 7 speed transmission, integrated with a state-of-the-art Automac AMT system that operates the engagement and selection of movement in the gearbox. The system includes hydraulic driven components and sensors to produce high force engagement, position accuracy, and load control within milliseconds. The clutch and gear selection actuation are electrically operated, providing high precision and strategic operation. The core of the system is powered by a powerful automotive microprocessor, ensuring exceptional safety and performance. The Tuatara was designed with a diverse and unique driving experience in mind. Track-level handling offers drivers the ability to aggressively engage in corner focused driving, straight-line runs, or docile street driving. Categorized into three driving modes, the car is transformed at the touch of a finger from the center console.
SSC North America (formerly Shelby SuperCars Inc.) is an American automobile manufacturer founded in 1998 by owner Jerod Shelby (no relation to car designer Carroll Shelby). The company is based in Richland, in the Tri-Cities, Washington and specializes in the production of sports cars. In 2004, SSC released their first model the SSC Ultimate Aero, a mid-engined sports car equipped with a 6.35 litres (388 cu in) twin turbocharged pushrod engined V8 which produces 1,287 bhp (960 kW; 1,305 PS). In 2015, SSC ended production of the SSC Aero. On 10 October 2020, their newest production car, the SSC Tuatara, allegedly broke the world speed record at an average of 316.11mph on a closed public road in Nevada (yet to be verified independently), outside of Las Vegas. The SSC Tuatara starts at $1,625,000 and is capable of producing 1,750 horsepower on E-85.
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