SSC Tuatara Breaks Down Trying To Replicate Top Speed Run

Supercars / 18 Comments

But the American supercar manufacturer isn't giving up.

You may recall that back in October, the world learned it might have a new fastest supercar in the SSC Tuatara. We say "might" because in the weeks after SSC announced the Tuatara's staggering 331-mph top speed, numerous observers accused the company of some fishiness, owing to some discrepancies between the published top speed run footage and the manufacturer's claims.

SSC, for what it's worth, claims that the discrepancies are due to a mix-up in the cutting room, and the all-American supercar manufacturer hasn't given up on staging another, more meticulously documented, verifiable top speed run to prove that it truly is faster than the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+.

Sadly, the company's last attempt, carried out in Florida earlier this month, ended in frustration as the Tuatara succumbed to mechanical issues and bowed out before it was able to reach its target.

The video here from Robert Mitchell explains the issues that faced the Tuatara in some detail, but here are the highlights: the wiring from all the extra equipment SSC installed to properly record the top speed run forced the rear clamshell to pop open multiple times, each instance forcing them to restart. Meanwhile, running at full-tilt under the hot Florida sun proved to be too much for the supercar, causing it to suffer power-robbing heat soak that forced SSC to park the car for nearly two hours while it cooled back down.

Unfortunately, by the time the car was ready to go back out and do it all over again, it was making significantly less power than it should have been. After some investigation, the team found that two of the spark plugs were badly fouled, meaning just six of its eight cylinders were actually operating as they should.


This isn't the end for SSC's top speed attempts, of course; undeterred, the supercar manufacturer plans on taking another stab at fully documenting a 331-mph speed run soon. At this point, it seems almost as though nothing can quite go right for the scrappy carmaker, but seeing as the Tuatara managed a still-impressive 252 mph even while two of its plugs weren't firing properly, we have our hopes that they'll manage to succeed.

SSC North America SSC North America SSC North America SSC North America

Join The Discussion



Related Cars

To Top