Late last year, the SSC Tuatara made headlines worldwide by becoming the world’s fastest production car. The run took place in the U.S., and the low-volume hypercar reportedly averaged a speed of 316 mph during two passes. However, soon after the record was published, people across the internet began noticing issues with the video of the record-breaking run. One of the most credible theories came from Shmee150 on YouTube. As a result, SSC agreed to run its hypercar once again to set the record straight.
What went wrong with the SSC Tuatara the first time around?
In theory, the SSC Tuatara should be capable of immense speed. In fact, the hypercar features a 5.9-liter twin-turbo V8, which develops up to 1,750 hp. As a result, the Tuatara can reach speeds typically reserved for cars from Bugatti and Koenigsegg. Since the Tuatara is a production car, it is eligible to break the record of the world’s fastest production car.
To test this, a run was organized in Nevada Highway 160. This is the same place the previous record holder completed its run. As a result, the cockpit video allowed the public to compare the two cars directly. By timing the videos, it was determined that there was a glitch with the Tuatara’s telemetry system, rendering the record invalid.
After the dust from the controversy had settled, CarBuzz reports that a second run was organized with a valid telemetry system. However, the hypercar reportedly broke down before the record could formally be attempted a second time.
Why is this new record so much slower than the last?
This leads us to this current SSC Tuatara update, which shows that the record was actually broken in this newest run. According to CarBuzz, the official record now stands at an average of 282.9 mph. However, if you remember the previous record, the claim was that the hypercar could average well over 300 mph. According to CarBuzz, this all comes down to the location of this newest run. The record-breaking attempt took place at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, says CarBuzz.
Unlike the previous SSC Tuatara record attempt, this runway is just 2.3 miles long. As a result, the hypercar cannot completely stretch its legs, surpassing the 300-mph barrier. Given the immense speed carried in this relatively short runway, there needs to be ample time to come to a safe stop in both speed attempts. CarBuzz report that the hypercar managed to reach a top speed of 286.1 mph.
While the top speed is certainly impressive, there are other notable achievements here. For example, the SSC Tuatara reportedly jumped from 274 mph to 286 mph in just 2.87 seconds. When you factor in the aerodynamic drag at those speeds, that is a massive achievement. Additionally, the hypercar reportedly managed to reach 244 mph using just one mile of the runway.
What about the car it just dethroned?
Since the SSC Tuatara’s brand-new record has been confirmed as legitimate, it is worth revisiting the car it subsequently dethroned. The vehicle in question is a Koenigsegg Agera RS, which averaged just under 278 mph back in 2017. Despite various attempts by Bugatti and SSC, the record held strong for almost four years. For now, it will be interesting to see if Koenigsegg decides to go for a brand-new run featuring some of its brand-new and more powerful models.