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1,750-HP SSC Tuatara Hypercar Has Bugatti Chiron In Its Crosshairs

Reveal / 23 Comments

SSC plans to use the all-American hypercar to chase a 300-mph top speed record.

Seven years after the concept was revealed, SSC North America has finally lifted the wraps off the production Tuatara at Pebble Beach to reclaim the automaker's reputation of making some of the fastest hypercars in the world. A successor to the frighteningly fast Ultimate Aero that finished production in 2013, the American-built hypercar features a carbon fiber body and chassis that makes the Tuatara extremely lightweight.

It also boasts a drag coefficient of 0.279, which is much lower than its competitors such as the Bugatti Chiron (0.36), Koenigsegg Agera (0.33) and Hennessey Venom F5 (0.33). According to SSC, the Tuatara's aerodynamic design was penned by former Pininfarina designer Jason Castriota and is inspired by the aerospace industry.

The car measures 174.4 inches long, 78.4 inches wide and 43 inches tall with a wheelbase that spans 105.2 inches. Extensive use of carbon fiber has also resulted in a dry weight of 2,750 lbs. Powering the Tuatara is a twin-turbo 5.9 liter V8 engine designed by SSC North America and engineered and assembled in collaboration with Nelson Racing Engines. The engine can produce 1,350 hp when running on 91 octane fuel, or up to an astonishing 1,750 hp on E85 fuel. The engine will be connected to a seven-speed "computerized" manual transmission that features a "robotic shift system".

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No performance specifications have been released, but SSC claims this setup will enable the Tuatara to hit a top speed that is "projected to easily surpass the current world record." Presumably, SSC is referring to the Koenigsegg Agera RS that set a record-breaking two-way average speed of 277.87 mph. In fact, SSC says it's confident the Tuatara can exceed 300 mph. Looks like Hennessey and Bugatti have a new competitor in the race to break the 300-mph barrier in a production car. Don't forget, too, that SSC's last hypercar, the Ultimate Aero, set an average top speed record of 255.83 mph back in 2007. That was enough to beat the Bugatti Veyron, so the company's confidence isn't unfounded.

Production of the SSC Tuatara will be limited to 100 units. No word on pricing yet, but SSC says production is "ready to begin" and is already accepting orders.