TopGear © 2020. The car is the successor to the Ultimate Aero and is the result of a design collaboration between Jason Castriota and SSC. Transferring this power to the rear wheels (yes, only the rears) is the work of a bespoke seven-speed automated manual ’box, developed by CIMA in Italy and capable of delivering a flat shift in less than 50ms. Sat at the end of the pitlane is just the thing to spike the members’ interest: the SSC Tuatara, a car we first came into contact with in 2011 as a design concept, but one that after years of development is only now starting its journey towards being the first production hypercar to smash the 300mph (483kph) barrier. Back at the track the following day, and after an evening to recalibrate, it’s time to dig more deeply into the Tuatara’s potential. All rights reserved. The SSC Tuatara is officially now the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of 532.93 kmph. “I noticed, during those pulls, that I wasn’t feeling any indication of our rev-limiter kicking in at 8,500+rpm. Those rules are still in place today, so, basically, we wrote the rule book,” says Jerod Shelby, CEO of Shelby SuperCars. It delivers 1,332bhp on ‘regular pump gas’ or an eye-watering 1,726bhp on E85 (barrels of which have come to Monticello to give us the full experience today).
If anything, it fits into the design lexicon of 2019 hypercar far better than it did in 2011 (especially when fitted with the optional track pack). Monticello just isn’t big enough to fully uncork this car. With the car in Track – which drops the ride height to 60mm from the road, stiffens the dampers and makes the gearchanges whipcrack fast – we head out. We first set eyes on the SSC Tuatara’s wildly futuristic design eight years ago, but it still looks like a spaceship. SSC, and a team in Norway, has developed a completely unique system which also interacts with an app on your phone and allows you to access the car and change various parameters, including the ride height, remotely…. So, when we got back to our facilities, we emailed the data logs off to our master tuner (a daily occurrence), and asked him to verify that the rev-limiter is still programmed to start kicking in lightly at 8,500+rpm. Woah. “When we looked into setting the record, it became clear that there were no standards by which these speeds were validated, so we worked with the team at Guinness and agreed the parameters for an official speed run. After a couple of initial exploratory laps with Shelby driving, we swap and I set out to learn the circuit and see if 1,726bhp fed through the rear wheels is just an accident waiting to happen. As top speed has increased, the focus has changed to who’ll be the first to break the 300mph barrier, a battle SSC, Koenigsegg, Bugatti and Hennessey are all vying to win. Local and international automotive news, test drive reports, and everything in between.
All rights reserved. First official details released on Shelby Supercars’ upcoming heavyweight. But contrary to my worst fears, the SSC delivers its huge power in a way no rear-wheel-drive car should. Every full-throttle shift is accompanied by an explosive shockwave, some of which seems to focus its energy at your elbow and feels like it’s threatening to burst out. ©BBC Studios. For some, like Shelby, it’s the driving force in their pursuit to build the car of their dreams. 06 September 2018 News.
Video: The SSC Tuatara will do 97-193kph in 2.5 seconds. Monticello Motor Club is about as far removed as you can get from a damp track day at Snetterton. Video: look and weep, puny earth cars, Tuatara hits 316mph two-way average, Prepare thine puny minds to be fried by how quickly an American hypercar accelerates, TG gets confirmation from the boss that a smaller, cheaper SSC hypercar is incoming, 300mph+ (483kph+) SSC gets Philly debut. Local and international automotive news, test drive reports, and everything in between.
“I do have kind of a funny story to share,” SSC boss Jerod Shelby tells TopGear.com. You’re conscious that excessive power is always available, and any pressure put on the throttle is accompanied by a huge inhalation then a dump of boost pressure, so you end up wafting along, barely troubling the potential under your right foot.
New SSC Tuatara is aiming for a 483kph top speed. I watch each of them climb into the car and play with varying degrees of success out on the circuit. It’s violently impressive, but not as violent as the gearchange which is, frankly, terrifying. TopGear © 2020.
With a clear circuit, I finally summon the courage to pin the Tuatara down the back straight. Buy the magazine, bookmark this website on your browser, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and our YouTube channel. Shelby SuperCars confirms the 447kph+ 2019 Tuatara for Pebble Beach. Could the SSC Tuatara be the first car to break 483kph? But if SSC can beat Bugatti, Koenigsegg and Hennessey to the punch, Bobby and the billion-dollar boys’ club will have a new item on the shopping list. The faster you go, the more impressive the SSC’s aero feels, but we need more space to truly dip into the boundaries of this car’s performance.
Welcome to Project ‘Exceed’: 1,750 horses of earth-shattering speed and aero. The track is quickly swamped with a squadron of Miatas, so Jerod and I head out onto the highway to see how the SSC fares in the real world. The SSC Tuatara / ˈ t u ə t ɑː r ə / is a sports car designed, developed and manufactured by American automobile manufacturer SSC North America (formerly Shelby SuperCars Inc.). My first four laps, learning a circuit where members are dicing in their cars, is not all kinds of fun. Monticello is where the real-life Bobby Axelrods come to play, where performance and speed are the primary currency.
This 4.1-mile ribbon of tarmac, nestled in a sleepy valley 90 miles north of NYC (a 90-minute drive in your favourite supercar… or, more realistically, given the clientele, a short hop in your helicopter), pitches itself as a country club. Ker-ching. Second gear, full throttle… the rear of the car squats, squirms momentarily then grips and goes. It is therefore as rich an environment as it is possible to imagine for a hypercar looking to establish itself at the top of the bragging rights food chain. With all carbon bodywork and the production car featuring a bespoke carbon tub, the SSC weighs in at 1,247kg, 272kg lighter than an Aventador. The steering is responsive, the brakes are mighty, but the pedal is currently too soft (Shelby says this has already been addressed for production). To add insult to injury, the Shelby record was approved and validated by Guinness – meaning America had officially beaten the hypercar glitterati. “At these stratospheric speeds, the aerodynamic drag of the vehicle has a huge effect on your high-end performance, and the bhp required to get to the magic number. The Ultimate Aero fired the starting gun on a multi-billion-dollar race to be the fastest.
The hypercar developed by US-based SSC North America clocked an average speed of 508.73 kmph for two consecutive runs that were conducted on a patch of closed-off public roads. The Tuatara of course, is a rear-drive hypercar designed to be driven every day. SSC Tuatara smashes top speed record, hits 331 mph Once again, there's a new 'fastest production car in the world' For the client base – people who have everything – having officially the fastest thing is ‘a thing’. When the VIP guests are done, it’s time for me to try it. Could the SSC Tuatara be the first car to break 483kph.
SSC claims a 0–100kph time sub-2.5secs, a quarter-mile in under 9.75 and a vmax of… well, we’ll have to wait and see. The Penske active suspension has three settings: Normal, Sport and Track. We first set eyes on the SSC Tuatara’s wildly futuristic design eight years ago, but it still looks like a spaceship. That is absolutely crazy’, he said. The SSC weighs in at 1,247kg, 272kg lighter than an Aventador. And yes Mr Wayne, it does come in black. On their return, the unanimous response is shock and awe – the Super Bowl Hall of Famer exits with the broadest smile, eulogising about “limitless power” and “explosive shifts”. The Tuatara is powered by a bespoke flat-plane crank, 5.9-litre, twin-turbo V8 developed by Nelsen Racing that red-lines at 8,800rpm. “Early in the particular test day, we did a few 90 per cent throttle second-to-third-to-fourth gear pulls to data log and measure the upshift sequence timing in Track Mode (that produces aggressive shifts). As the laps accumulate and confidence grows, the following become the headline acts. Time for a quick recap. Powered by Orangesoft Web Design Transferring fire and fury to the road surface are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, 245/35s on the front, worried-looking 345/30s on the rear. Open the dramatic swan wing doors and the interior has a highly bespoke feel. ©BBC Studios. The acceleration is brutal and, once you’re in the power band with the turbos spooled up, it’s linear and shows no sign of letting up until you punch a hole in the horizon. To truly understand the appeal of the SSC, you have to understand the clients. The SSC Tuatara is a 1,750bhp V8 hypercar. Today, I’m in the company of a mixture of ex-NFL Super Bowl winners, global business owners and big deal traders, all successful, all incredibly excited to see the car (let alone drive it) and all with a shared mentality. As top speed has increased, the focus has changed to who’ll be the first to break the 300mph barrier, a battle SSC, Koenigsegg, Bugatti and Hennessey are all vying to win. For that, we need to relocate to a very long road in Washington, close it down, point the SSC at the horizon and see where the needle stops moving. “He said ‘I didn’t think that was physically possible from a 2WD car, but I checked and your logger was tracking six satellites during these runs, so this is legitimate.
Each of them is on the speed-dial first-call list of every carmaker’s limited-series client liaison officer, but when you can have anything, the quality you crave the most is exclusivity. Take the HMI – a bugbear of most limited-series cars and a tell-tale of which OEM computer mainframe is actually keeping you on the road. First official details released on Shelby Supercars’ upcoming heavyweight.
There’ll only ever be one production car that is the first to break the 300mph barrier, and only time will tell if the Tuatara will claim that title. We head to a millionaire’s playground to drive SSC's potential record-breaker. That’s right.
It’ll do 95km/h-190km/h in TWO POINT FIVE SECONDS. Powered by Orangesoft Web Design The Top Gear word mark and logo are trademarks of the BBC and are used under licence. Shelby said his tuner reminded him that ‘heavily modified, 2,500-3,000bhp AWD race vehicles run those kinds of times’.
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