The old king is dead, long live the king.
The SSC Tuatara has dethroned the Bugatti Chiron as the world’s fastest car, overnight hitting 532.6km/h and 484.1km/h in opposite directions to record an offical (and record-breaking) average of 508.6km/h.
World Endurance Championship driver Oliver Webb was behind the wheel, and SSC used a (closed) stretch of highway in Nevada, USA.
Powering the new ‘fastest production car in the world’ is a twin-turbocharged 5.9-litre V8 engine making 1305kW of power on E85 fuel.
According to Webb, the Tuatara could have gone faster if it wasn’t for the crosswinds unsettling it as top speed approached.
“There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” said Oliver Webb.
“As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod [Shelby, SSC CEO], the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realising the car’s limit.”
In order for the record to stand, the Tuatara had to be the same spec as the 100 customer cars being sold, on street tyres running non-race fuel. It was driven over the same route in opposite directions, and the speed was verified by GPS.
This isn’t the first time SSC has been the world’s fastest carmaker. The SSC Ultimate Aero TT held the crown in 2007, before being topped by the Bugatti Veyron.