It seems like a new hypercar breaks cover every other week, from limited-edition McLaren Sennas to roofless Ferraris. This release, however, is an exceptional one. Built by a relatively small American company, the SSC Tuatara hypercar combines a 1,750-hp engine with boatloads of carbon fiber and clever aerodynamics. More importantly, however, this new hypercar just became the world’s fastest production car.
The SSC Tuatara managed an average of 316 mph
For the record to count, the SSC Tuatara had to accomplish back to back runs in opposite directions. The average speed of both runs is then calculated, and that becomes the new speed record. In this case, the new record is 316 mph. The best part of this new record is that we get to ride along with driver Oliver Webb thanks to Top Gear. Watch below as Webb surges well past the previous 278-mph speed record held by the Koenigsegg Agera RS.
Aside from the sheer speed, the overall calmness with which Webb can take the SSC Tuatara to 300 mph is shocking. The ride up to 200 mph happens smoothly but calmly, most likely to keep those rear tires happy. As if 200 mph wasn’t enough, we can hear the moment Webb puts his foot down, and the turbos fully spool up. From then on, the SSC Tuatara seemingly rockets to 331mph.
Most notably, Webb doesn’t need any steering inputs to correct the car. The Tuatara tracks completely straight and looks relatively stable even past 300 mph. Take a look at the previous record run below.
One of the first things you’ll notice is how much the Koenigsegg begins to move once it surpasses 270 mph. Watching both videos back to back highlights the massive achievement the Tuatara accomplished by not being just quick but stable.
How does the Tuatara develop its 1,750-hp output?
Great speed comes from big horsepower, and the SSC Tuatara’s twin-turbo V8 has plenty of it. Developed entirely by SSC, the Tuatara’s 5.9-liter engine can reach the insane power output thanks to its clever intake system.
A major benefit of developing the SSC Tuatara completely in-house is that all of the components are finely tuned with the sole purpose of outright speed. According to SSC, the Tuatara features two massive intakes that feed into two separate throttle bodies.
The result is that SSC can closely control the air-fuel mixture for maximum output. The massive intake size allows for a large amount of cool air to flow into the engine, which, thanks to the turbochargers, gets turned into the crazy horsepower figure.
Why do manufactures care so much about speed records?
Like many of the auto industry’s greatest hits, it all comes down to ego and bragging rights. Nothing sells cars faster than having a record attached to them, and the SSC Tuatara is no exception.
This is why carmakers invest so much into 0-60 mph times, and top speed runs. In the case of 99 percent of supercars, these figures are obtained in perfect scenarios that their owners could never possibly replicate. If you need further proof, last year, Bugatti rushed a special edition Chiron prototype to a top speed run. The result was a 300+ mph top speed.
However, the record did not count because the Chiron prototype did not complete the second run in the opposite direction. Regardless, Bugatti self-appointed the fastest production title, making the company look like it’s at the top of performance. However, that title is now held by the Tuatara.
In the end, car enthusiasts are the real winners because if companies keep pushing themselves, it won’t be long until 331 mph is considered slow.