They did it! SSC shows off its first production Tuatara hypercar
We were wondering if it was vaporware for a while there, but SSC North America has unveiled the first production model of its 1,750-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 Tuatara hypercar. It's the successor to the Ultimate Aero, the world's fastest car in 2010.
More than a decade in the making, the Tuatara sits at #5 on our list of the world's most powerful cars. If you take the electric Lotus, Rimac and Pininfarina out of the equation, the Tuatara sits behind the Hennessey Venom F5 as the second most powerful combustion-powered production car on the planet. And since Hennessey still hasn't got the F5 built yet, the pride of SSC unveiled today must rank as one of the baddest cars ever built.
Designed to do north of 300 mph (483 km/h), the Tuatara is an ultra-aerodynamic design with a drag coefficient of 0.279. SSC says there's nothing slipperier in the highly slippery hypercar segment, but that doesn't mean it's a featureless, teardrop-shaped lump. The overall shape feels quite Ferrari-adjacent to us, although you get the feeling Maranello wouldn't have let this design out the door with the flying buttresses over the rear air intakes, which look a bit tacked on, or the odd little terrier's ear wings on its backside.
This black and red paint job doesn't seem to do the car many favors; if these shots don't float your boat, take a look at what it looked like as a white and orange prototype. Now that's what I'm talking about!
No mistake, though, this is an A-list event of an automobile. Carbon is everywhere, naturally, from the entire frame to the bodywork, so if you're worried that prodigious 5.9-liter V8 motor might have trouble pulling the car, fear not, it's very light. Last time we heard a weight figure, it was going to be 2,750 lb (1,247 kg), and no production weight figures have been released to change that.
There's some new information on the transmission – a CIMA 7-speed paddle shift auto that can switch gears in less than a tenth of a second in Track mode. There's air suspension, also tied to the modes, which makes things comfier on the street and helps you over speed bumps, or lowers you down for absolute minimal drag on the track. There's a flip-up rear wing acting as a high-speed air brake, and the whole thing opens up like a Swiss army knife when you want to flaunt your mechanicals or get the oil changed.
The interior is reasonably focused, as you'd imagine, with very sporty carbon/leather seats, a squared-off steering wheel that looks like it means business, and enough touch screen to keep your millennial nephew awake on the highway, even if it means the suspension keeps going up and down. SSC says it's roomy enough to accommodate folk up to 6'5" tall, even with a race helmet on, "comfortably." So if you reckon you can sit comfortably in a car designed to do nearly five times the highway limit, go ahead and try.
One hundred of these beasties will be hand-made at SSC's Richland, Washington HQ. This is #1. Hopefully, one of them will go on to take back the "world's fastest production car" crown, which now sits, under some dubious circumstances, with Bugatti.
SSC has supplied lots of images, jump into the gallery – and check out the video below, which celebrates the build process.
Source: SSC North America