With more than 1000kW from its twin-turbo V8 engine, the Tuatara is here to give the Chiron nightmares
SSC, formerly known as Shelby SuperCars, has revealed the long-awaited Tuatara at Monterey Car Week in California, with the lofty goal of topping 480km/h. Nope, that’s not a typo.
Power in the Tuatara comes from a 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 1750hp (1305kW) on E85 fuel, or a more sedate 1350hp (1007kW) on 91 RON premium (in the USA) unleaded. Power is put exclusively to the rear wheels – that’s right, no all-wheel drive here – through a robotised manual transmission.
The chassis and body are both mode of carbon-fibre, with a combined weight of 1247kg and a 2672mm wheelbase. The body measures 4430mm long and 1991mm wide, and the design team is touting a drag coefficient of 0.279 – slipperier than the Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Agera and Hennessey Venom F5, according to SSC.
When that bonkers engine and lightweight body meet, SSC says the result is a car capable of hitting 300mph (482km/h) with ‘a margin of error’. Exactly what that margin looks like remains to be seen, but you could bet your house on the Tuatara being very, very fast…
It’s been a long time coming, with our coverage stretching back to 2011, when SSC’s founder described it as about to “monumentally evolve in all areas of sophistication, design, aerodynamics and sheer all-around performance” over the SSC Ultimate Aero on which it’s based. Initially, the car was aiming for a 440km/h top speed and 993kW of power, but those numbers have both grown with time.
The Tuatara name is borrowed from a lizard-like animal with its roots in an extinct group of reptiles that walked with dinosaurs. Scientists have described them as ‘living fossils’, which seems apt for a car like this.
Just 100 examples will be built, so you’ll need to be quick to lock one down. Head to the galleries section for more pictures of the Tuatara at its launch in Pebble Beach, California.
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