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SSC Tuatara is the world's fastest production car

By Scott Newman, 20 Oct 2020 Car News

SSC Tuatura world record speed in Nevada

American hypercar rewrites the record books on home soil with extraordinary top speed

Just when you thought the game was over, the SSC Tuatara has reset the world's fastest production car benchmark, wrestling the title from the grasp of Koenigsegg and kicking Nevadan desert sand in the face of Bugatti in the process.

The Tuatara hasn't just broken existing records, it's completely obliterated them, recording a two-way average of 508.73km/h, a whopping 61km/h faster than the previous mark recorded by the Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017.

UPDATE - the veracity of the claims has been questioned by industry experts. Click here for more info

State Route 160 in Pahrump Nevada.Like Koenigsegg, SSC used an 11km stretch of the State Route 160 highway outside of Las Vegas, setting the record on the morning of Saturday, October 10.

In order to claim an official world record two speed runs must be made in opposing directions within an hour of one another, which is why the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport's mark of 490.48km/h set at its Ehra-Lessien test track was not officially recognised.

SSC Tuatura top speed record run.The Tuatara's first run of 484.53km/h was backed up by a mind-blowing second run of 532.93km/h, allowing it to not only break the outright speed record but also the record for Fastest Flying Mile on a Public Road (503.92km/h) and Fastest Flying Kilometre on a Public Road (517.16km/h).

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And it could've gone even faster. Racing driver Oliver Webb was at the wheel and said: "There was definitely more in there and with better conditions I know we could have gone faster.

Professional racing driver Oliver James Webb."As I approached 532km/h the Tuatura climbed almost 30km/h within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn't running our of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realising the car's limit."

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Jerod refers to Jerod Shelby, the 52-year-old founder of SSC. While no relation to Carroll, Jerod clearly has a similar love of horsepower, saying in a statement: "It's been 10 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 claim to victory in the 'land-based space race' is going to be tough to beat."

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In 2007 the SSC Ultimate Aero claimed the title of World's Fastest Car when 71-year-old Chuck Bigelow piloted it to a two-way average of 412.28km/h on a public road in Washington.

The SSC Tuatara is much more exotic in its construction, using a carbonfibre monocoque that allows for a dry weight of just 1227kg. Power is produced by a 5.9-litre twin-turbo V8 that revs to 8800rpm and produces 1007kW on regular fuel and 1305kW on E85.

SSC Tuatura is the world's fastest car.A seven-speed CIMA automated manual transmission sends the power to the rear wheels, the suspension is height adjustable with remote damper reservoirs while its tyres are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s measuring 245/35 front and 345/30 rear.

With Bugatti and Koenigsegg bowing out of the top speed game, will the Tuatara's record stand forever, and just how much faster can cars go?