SSC Tuatara is now the world’s fastest production car – 508.73 km/h two-way average; 532.93 km/h Vmax!

The title for the world’s fastest production car has changed hands yet again, and it is the SSC Tuatara that has claimed the crown. On October 10 this year, the hypercar managed to set an average speed of 508.73 km/h (316.11 mph) following two consecutive high-speed test runs of 484.53 km/h (301.07 mph) and 532.93 km/h (331.15 mph).

Keep in mind that there is some red tape attached to the record, including the fact that the car making the attempt must be a production vehicle that is identical to what a customer might purchase. The attempt must also be done on public roads to ensure “real world” driving conditions, and the car must run on street tyres and non-race fuel.

More importantly, the car must travel in opposite directions, clocking its speeds within an hour using a certified GPS measurement system. That is why the higher figure from both runs isn’t the definitive one, and SSC (formerly Shelby SuperCars) ensured that there were officials during the attempt to make sure everything was legit and in order.

In fact, Dewetron GPS measurements were taken to track the Tuatara on its speed runs, with an average of 15 satellites used to ensure the data reviewed is as accurate as possible to confirm the new record.

With everything being official now, the Tuatara is your new speed king, brushing off the previous official record holder, the Koenigsegg Agera RS (446.97 km/h or 277.87 mph two-way average), by a considerable margin. SSC chose the same seven-mile stretch of the State Route 160 outside of Las Vegas near Pahrump to set its record, which is also where the Agera RS made history in November 2017.

We didn’t mention the Bugatti Chiron because its 490.484 km/h (304.773 mph) run performed in September last year was only done in one direction, so by technicality, it doesn’t meet the criteria for the record. Not that it matters, as the Chiron’s Vmax still pales in comparison to the Tuatara’s 532.93 km/h. The same can be said of the Hennessey Venom GT, which topped out at 435.111 km/h (270.49 mph) back in February 2014.

This isn’t SSC’s first attempt at the record, as its previous creation, the Ultimate Aero TT, managed to claim the title in 2007 with a two-way average speed of 411.76 km/h (255.83 mph), beating the unofficial record set by the Bugatti Veyron set back then.

“It’s been ten years since we held this record with our first car, the Ultimate Aero, and the Tuatara is leagues ahead. Its performance reflects the dedication and focus with which we pursued this achievement. We came pretty close to meeting the theoretical numbers, which is astonishing to do in a real world setting on a public road. America’s new claim to victory in the ‘land-based space race’ is going to be tough to beat,” said Jerod Shelby, CEO of SSC.

“There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” said Oliver Webb, who piloted the record run. “As I approached 331 mph (532.69 km/h), the Tuatara climbed almost 20 mph (32.19 km/h) within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car’s limit,” he added.

Aside from being the world’s fastest production car, the Tuatara also broke three more world records for the fastest flying mile on a public road (503.92 km/h or 313.12 mph), the fastest flying kilometre (517.16 km/h or 312.35 mph) as well as the highest speed achieved on a public road (532.93 km/h or 331.15 mph).

Key aspects to the Tuatara’s incredible speed runs include a 5.9 litre twin-turbo V8 that produces 1,750 hp when running on E85 ethanol fuel and 1,350 hp on 91 octane petrol. The engine generates a maximum torque of 1,735 Nm and is mated to a CIMA-sourced seven-speed automatic manual transmission (AMT).

All that grunt propels a car with a dry weight of just 1,247 kg, which is thanks to a carbon-fibre body and monocoque. Aerodynamics also play a role, and the SSC hypercar boasts just 18 square feet of frontal area and a drag coefficient of 0.279. The company notes that from 150–330 mph (241-531 km/h), the car maintained a perfect aerodynamic balance of 37% front and 63% rear, ensuring precision downforce across all four wheels.

With the Tuatara at the top, let’s see if the Jesko Absolut and Venom F5 can challenge for the title. For now, all hail the new king of speed.

The post SSC Tuatara is now the world’s fastest production car – 508.73 km/h two-way average; 532.93 km/h Vmax! appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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