SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 532kmph, making it the world’s fastest production car
The SSC Ultimate Aero was the American hypercar that briefly stole the title of world’s fastest production car from the Bugatti Veyron in 2007 and now its successor, the Tuatara, has done the same. Beating out the Koenigsegg Agera RS to an officiated top speed of 532.6kmph piloted by British racing driver Oliver Webb, the hypercar is now officially the world’s fastest production car.
It’s been over a decade since the project’s inception, but the small-scale manufacturer finally put the Tuatara through its paces earlier this month achieving a peak speed of 532.6kmph, and a two-way average of 508.7kmph – that’s 61.4kmph faster than the Koenigsegg Agera RS, which achieved a two-way average of 447.2kmph. Unsurprisingly, 532.6kmph is also officially the highest speed ever achieved on a public road, and for perspective twice the takeoff speed of a modern-day fighter jet...
Test driver on the day Oliver Webb said: ‘There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster. As I approached 532.6kmph, the Tuatara climbed almost 32kmph 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.’
Unlike some recent record-breaking attempts, the Tuatara that achieved these speeds was production-spec and identical to the product delivered to customers. It was also wearing road-legal rubber, and was running on an E85 fuel blend, which is often used by other high-performance hypercar manufacturers, such as Koenigsegg, to increase engine performance.
The engine providing the requisite power for a 532.6kmph top speed is a twin-turbocharged flat-plane crank 5.9-litre V8 co-developed by SSC and Nelson Racing Engines, sending 1750bhp to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automated manual gearbox. The chassis it’s fitted within is a carbon fibre monocoque, and has a dry weight of 1247kg, thanks also in part to its carbon fibre body.
In order to reach these speeds, more than just power was required of course, with the SSC team streamlining the Tuatara’s body to an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.279. SSC claims that it maintained a 37% front and 63% rear aerodynamic balance from 241-482kmph, helping it hit that mind-boggling top speed.
First customer cars have already been delivered, with a total of 99 to be produced in total, but pricing remains unconfirmed.