20 October 2020 may prove a red letter day for human automotive endeavour with the official announcement that the SSC North America’s Tuatara has set a sensational new record of 508.73km/h to become the world’s fastest production car.

On Tuesday, South African speed freaks and petrol heads awoke to the heady news that the SSC Tuatara has set a new record to become the world’s fastest production car on a 11km stretch of State Route 160 in Nevada, in the United States (US).

World’s fastest production car

The previous record was held by the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport which had achieved a blurring 490km/h.

Brought to the world by Kristen Lee,  writing for Business Insider US, Lee has revealed that SSC will only build 100 Tuataras.

SSC Tuatara
Image: Supplied

The Tuatara: Setting the pace

The title of “world’s fastest production vehicle” now belongs to the Tuatara, the latest creation of SSC North America.

The boutique American car company announced the record on Monday (US time), after setting it on 10 October, when the car used a claimed 1 750 horsepower to clock an average speed of 509km/h on a pair of high-speed runs.

On the quicker of the two, the car hit 533km/h; it reached 484 km/h on the ‘slower’ run,” explained Business Insider US.

According to the media outlet, the production car speed record is what its name suggests: A record set by a street-legal production car. A car that you or I could theoretically buy and drive legally, provided that you have $1.6 million (R26 million), because that’s what SSC will command before you can park a Tuatara in your garage.

How the land speed record was set

Other record criteria include traveling the same route in opposite directions —  to balance out any effect of wind and terrain — and achieving the speeds within an hour. The record has to be achieved on a public road for “real world” driving conditions and the car must run on non-race fuel and be equipped with street tyres.

The rest is history

The last car to set the production car speed record was the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport in 2019 at Volkswagen’s giant Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany. The Chiron Super Sport achieved a speed of 489km/h, according to Ars Technica.

The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport. Image: bugatti.com

Who dunnit and how?

Professional racing driver Oliver Webb set the record outside of Las Vegas and near Pahrump, Nevada, on a closed, seven-mile stretch of State Route 160.  Onsite officials, using Dewetron GPS measurements that tracked the speed runs with an average of 15 satellites, verified the new 509 km/h record.

Oliver Webb SSC Tuatara
Professional racing driver Oliver Webb and founder and owner of SSC North America, Jerod Shelby. Image: Supplied

Under the hyper car’s hood

The SSC Tuatara itself uses a 5.9-litre, twin-turbocharged, flat-plane crank V8 engine that produces 1 750 horsepower on E85, or 1,350 horsepower on 91 octane gasoline. It was designed to have a very low drag coefficient of 0.279. 

SSC Tuatara
Image: Supplied

Can you get one?

SSC will build just 100 examples of the Tuatara. Fully optioned with the High Downforce Track Pack, the $1.6 million base price jumps to $1.9 million. Still cheaper than a Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, though — and with so many more bragging rights.

Legendary legacy reborn

According to Business Insider US, the SSC was also the automaker behind the SSC Ultimate Aero, which held the fastest production car record of 412km/ph between 2007 and 2010, after which the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport claimed the title.

In conclusion, Business Insider US however notes that even though the speed run was tested and measured according to Guinness World Records criteria, Guinness hasn’t yet officially certified it as a world record.

Onlineautos
Author: Onlineautos