The SSC Tuatara clocks nearly 475kph to eclipse its previous best but experts predict it can go even faster still. PLUS – video
The SSC Tuatara has surpassed its own record for the world’s fastest production vehicle on a 2.3-mile (3.7km) stretch of runway after clocking a top speed of 295mph (474.8kph).
The hypercar, built by SSC North America and driven by collector Larry Caplin, achieved the feat at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Space Florida’s LLF, Kennedy Space Centre Merritt, Florida, on May 14.
It breaks the previous record set by the Tuatara, which has a V8 twin-turbo engine capable of producing 1,750hp, in January 2021.
Jerod Shelby, SSC North America founder and CEO, says: “The sheer rate of acceleration that the Tuatara was producing all the way through 295mph really told us that this car is not even close to reaching its ceiling.
“All the data and imagery has given us a clear picture that the limiting factor wasn’t the car, but the fact that we ran out of runway.”
Robert Mitchell, an independent analyst who has attended all of the Tuatara’s high-speed testing sessions since December 2020, adds that he thinks the car is capable of reaching 300 mph.
“The sheer acceleration at these high numbers above 250, 260, even into the 280s, it’s hands down the fastest car that I have seen.”
A key factor behind the record-breaking performance was the Tuatara’s aerodynamics, with the vehicle achieving a production-hypercar best coefficient of drag of 0.279.
“From 150-295mph, the car maintained a perfect aerodynamic balance of 37 per cent front and 63 per cent rear, ensuring precision downforce across all four wheels,” notes SCC North America.
“The progressive aerodynamics are achieved through an active wing system that provides variable control surface profiles to maximise speed and dynamic performance.”
Other features of the Tuatara include a carbon-fibre monocoque that provides vital safety to the driver but is lightweight enough to ensure peak performance.