Nearly ten years after the concept was revealed, the first SSC Tuatara production car has finally been delivered.
It's been an arduously long wait for the SSC Tuatara to arrive. Shelby Super Cars' all-American hypercar was first unveiled as a concept back in 2011. It was intended to go into production as a successor to the SSC Ultimate Aero, which held the Guinness World Record for Fastest Production Car in the World from 2007 to 2010.
However, the hypercar scene has evolved significantly since then with cars like the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ and Koenigsegg Agera RS setting new standards and smashing speed records. Last month, SSC announced the Tuatara is finally entering production, and now the first customer car has been presented at the 2020 Philadelphia Auto Show.
The body and aerodynamics of the Tuatara were designed in collaboration with renowned automotive designer Jason Castriota, who has penned designs for Maserati and Ferrari. Thanks to its aerodynamic shape, the SSC Tuatara boasts a class-leading 0.279 drag coefficient and "maintains an identical aero balance from 100 mph to well over 300 mph, resulting in an incredibly stable and predictable car that instills absolute confidence in the driver," according to Castriota.
Beneath the carbon fiber body is a carbon fiber monocoque chassis with exposed sections across the car. Thanks to this extensive use of carbon fiber, the SSC Tuatara has a dry weight of just 2,750 pounds.
Powering the Tuatara is a mid-mounted, twin-turbo V8 producing 1,350 horsepower with 91 octane fuel. On E85 fuel, power increases to a substantial 1,750 horsepower. SSC's V8 is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission that can shift in less than 100 milliseconds in Track Mode.
As standard, Sport Mode sets the car to 4.0 inches at the front and 4.5 inches at the rear and configures the transmission for city driving. Track Mode lowers the ride height to 2.74 inches at the front and 3.25 inches at the rear, adjusts the suspension, increases the shift responsiveness, and the pitch and height of the active rear wing to optimize airflow and downforce. When braking, the active rear wing deflects accordingly. Front Lift Mode raises the suspension by 1.57 inches to provide clearance over speed bumps or raised surfaces.
Inside, standard equipment includes a digital driver display showing crucial driving information to the driver, a center console with a touch screen giving the driver access to the multiple driving modes, tire pressures, complete diagnostics, climate control, and music, a rear-view camera, and a premium speaker system.
SSC North America will produce 100 Tuatara hypercars. Each example will be manufactured at the company's headquarters in Richland, Washington. Pricing has not been announced. Now we just need to wait to find out if the SSC Tuatara can beat Bugatti's top speed record, as SSC is confident the hypercar will break the 300-mph barrier.