The SSC Tuatara has been a slow burn for seven years, after the concept debuted in 2011 and racked up $13 million in sales that same year. We got smoke at the beginning of the year when the Washington-state company showed a teaser. Now we get heat and smoke thanks to SSC teasing the twin-turbo V8 that will power the production model. The sneak peak comes about a week before SSC plans to reveal the Tuatara during Monterey Car Week – as it did in 2011.

Seven years ago we were told the entire coupe would weigh about 2,800 pounds, that low weight achieved with copious use of carbon fiber for the chassis, subframes, and wheels. Grunt would come from a 7.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 developed in collaboration with Nelson racing engines, putting out 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque and spinning up to 9,200 rpm. The engine in the automaker’s previous car, the record-breaking Ultimate Aero, was based on a General Motors small block and there’s a good chance that’s the case here, too.The company predicted a 0-60 mph time of around 2.5 seconds and a 276-mph top speed.

We’ll have to wait until next week for all of the details about what’s merely changed and what’s been improved. Years ago, production was meant to be limited to 12 examples, and those dozen Tuatara buyers would have had the choice of either a traditional manual transmission or a sequential gearbox with paddles; who knows if the manual survived. And in breaking its silence to announce these new images, SSC said the Tuatara would have “a top speed that is projected to easily surpass the current world record.” That would mean the 276 mph number’s been eclipsed, since the a Koenigsegg Agera RS holds the title after having done 277.9 mph.

Peter Hay Hill at 5 pm PST on August 24 will be the scene of the reveal, at The Quail. After that, the Tuatara — the name refers to a small, nocturnal lizard that SSC says is “known for evolving its molecular structure” — will go on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Concept Lawn, and make appearances at Concorso Italiano and Exotics on Cannery Row in between. Stay tuned.

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