It gets from 60 to 120 mph in 2.5 seconds.
While zero-to-sixty and even quarter-mile acceleration times get the lion's share of attention when assessing the statistics of a new sports car, passing power is often forgotten. In some ways, the latter matters more, at least from a safety perspective. After all, you want to know that you can merge onto a highway or pass a slow-moving 18-wheeler confidently and without tightening your grip on the steering wheel and hoping for the best.
Well, the SSC Tuatara hypercar has redefined what passing power means, according to a recent test day story that SSC boss Jerod Shelby shared with Top Gear, in which the Tuatara posted some ballistic times that should have even the Bugatti Chiron taking notes.
While we already know that a less powerful Tuatara is on the way, for now, it's all about the full-fat 1,750-horsepower version. Based on data sent to SSC's master tuner, the Tuatara was achieving 60-120 mph runs in a phenomenal 2.5 seconds. "Early in the particular test day, we did a few 90 percent throttle second-to-third-to-fourth gear pulls to data log and measure the upshift sequence timing in track mode," said Shelby.
He goes on to say that he didn't notice the 8,500-rpm rev limiter kicking in, which is when he sent the data logs to the master tuner. The tuner got in touch with Shelby later that night, saying: "Do you realize that you're going from 60 mph to 120 mph in 2.5 seconds flat in a couple of these pulls? That is absolutely crazy." We'd agree, and the tuner stressed how significant the achievement was for a 2WD car.
For some perspective, the tuner said that the Tuatara's times were akin to AWD race cars producing over 2,500 hp. Almost a decade after the concept was first unveiled, it seems that America's hypercar has been worth the wait, with the first production model delivered earlier this year. A lot of its massive performance potential comes down to a dry weight of just 2,750 pounds, thanks to the generous use of carbon fiber for the body and monocoque chassis.
Power comes from a twin-turbo V8 engine that produces peak power on E85 fuel. Clearly, the seven-speed automatic transmission is up to the task, based on that 2.5-second surge from 60 to 120. We're more excited than ever to experience SSC's monster supercar.