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SSC will make a hybrid, all-wheel-drive hypercar alongside the Tuatara

Washington-based SSC announced it will expand its range of hypercars with a hybrid, all-wheel-drive model in the next few years. The limited-edition car is currently being developed, and it’s one of two new models that the firm plans to launch in the not-too-distant future.

Speaking to Motor Authority, company founder and CEO Jerod Shelby hinted that the hybrid model won’t necessarily be part of the Tuatara line. It’s too early to tell how many units will be made, but they won’t be part of the 125-car run that SSC is planning for the Tuatara. And, the gasoline-electric car might not even wear the Tuatara nameplate; SSC could use another name to dial in a further degree of differentiation.

Power will come from a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a gasoline-powered engine mounted behind the passenger compartment and a pair of motors integrated into the front hubs. This setup will give the car through-the-road all-wheel-drive, meaning that there won’t be a mechanical connection between the front and rear axles. SSC has chased speed records in recent months, but electrification isn’t a way to go faster.

“The electrification of the car will make it a more well-rounded vehicle,” Shelby told Motor Authority. He added that going hybrid will notably improve acceleration, on-track performance, and lower-speed characteristics. There’s no word yet on how powerful the model will be, but we’re expecting a significant amount of power: the Tuatara is powered by a 5.9-liter V8 that’s twin-turbocharged to 1,750 horsepower.

Meanwhile, the carmaker also hopes to open a bigger factory in about 2025 to manufacture a smaller (and presumably more volume-oriented) model that Shelby envisions as “a little brother” to the Tuatara. It sounds like SSC has its work cut out for the 2020s.

SSC reveals a 2,200 hp Tuatara Aggressor

It hasn’t been an easy time for SSC lately, first, they declare to have set a world speed record with their Tuatara hypercar in October 2020 when they published a top speed of 316 mph (508.73 km/h) over two runs in opposite directions, on a stretch of the State Route 160 outside of Las Vegas near Pahrump, where the Agera RS made history in November 2017, race driver Oliver Webb took the wheel of the SSC Tuatara to pulverize the world record for the fastest street-legal production car.

But that record quickly got questioned by just about everybody, especially on YouTube, and it forced SSC to do a second attempt to put all the rumors to rest, but they weren’t going back to Texas again, for this second run the Tuatara was taken to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility, and they would make sure to have every kind of measurement system and witnesses to make their point, the SSC Tuatara will be the fastest car in the world.

The second go at the record was performed on January 17, 2021, but this time by the owner of the car. Dr. Larry Caplin, as required by regulations, to qualify for an official world record the car has to travel the same track twice, once in one direction, and once in the opposite direction … this time the SSC Tuatara managed to get to 279.7 mph (450.1 km/h) in the northbound direction and subsequently reached 286.1 mph (460.4 km/h) on the southbound way, for the record this came down to an average speed of 282.9 mph (455.2 km/h) … the current world record for production cars.

But things turned for the worse when the transporter that was carrying the rare #001 record-setting car was involved in an accident, it appears a strong gust of wind flipped the trailer with the car inside on the I-15 while the car was heading to Florida for a second record-setting run mid-April because at the second attempt described above they didn’t reach the magical 300 mph barrier, so they wanted to try again … sadly the car never made it to Florida in one piece. SSC did release a statement after the incident they will still do a second attempt, and possibly even with this very car, as the damage is purely cosmetic according to Shelby, the chassis, drivetrain, and suspension are perfectly fine.

The SSC Tuatara is powered by a Nelson Racing Engines, twin-turbo 5.9-Liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine that develops 1,750 horsepower on E85 and 1,350 hp on 91 octane, but if you would expect SSC to simply repair their crashed Tuatara, or perhaps build another one, you are sadly mistaking … they just released information on ‘the next step’, it seems they deem 1,750hp isn’t enough, and now intend to release two new Tuatara variants.

The SSC Tuatara Striker will come with improved aerodynamics, their release states an increase of 300% compared to the original car at 160 mph, thanks to a massive rear wing together with a vertical stabilizer and a new diffuser, at the front the splitter and dive plate further push down the car, the split is to be 45.4% to the front and 54.6% for the rear, adding even more carbon fiber and Alcantara on the interior will reduce weight … even with the current 1,750 hp (1,305 kW) this should mean the Tuatara Striker is even faster.

But that’s not all SSC has in the pipeline … how about 2,200 hp (1,641 kW)? That’s right, the SSC Tuatara Aggressor will come with the same modified aero and weight savings as the Striker, but with a massive power increase, the latter one will not be street legal it seems. The Tuatara Aggressor can also be customized with special exhaust tuning, performance options, and bespoke aesthetics … but there is a catch, SSC only builds a very limited number of these cars.

The intention is to build 100 units of the SSC Tuatara, now they will add 100 units of the new SSC Tuatara Striker … but only 10 of the SSC Tuatara Aggressor will be available, no official pricing has been published by SSC for either of these new evolutions, but I guess the clientele for these hypercars doesn’t care for a million more or less, it’s all about having the fastest, most exclusive hypercar for these customers.

SSC Tuatara shown screaming down an empty highway in new video

Nearly three months after SSC North America finally unveiled the production version of the Tuatara, and after more than a decade in development, the company has released video showing the supercar in action.

The 49-second clip shows company founder Jerod Shelby piloting the Tuatara at speed down an empty highway along a windswept, treeless landscape. The rear-mounted camera gives us a good view of the cockpit and its sense of openness, thanks to the expansive glass roof panels on the butterfly doors.

We also get a view of the CIMA seven-speed automated manual gearbox, developed by Automac Engineering of Italy and sending power to the rear wheels as Shelby uses the paddle shifters on the wheel. There’s no indication of how fast he was driving, but we hear the sound of its engine, which has an 8,800-rpm redline, and the video is tagged with #lifebeginsat300 and #yearofthetuatara, reminders of the company’s boast that the Tuatara can go “well over” the vaunted 300-mph mark.

The car boasts a 0.279 drag coefficient and active aerodynamics. Its 5.9-liter twin-turbo flat-plane crank V8 was developed with Nelson Racing Engines. It puts out 1,350 horsepower using 91-octane fuel, and 1,750 hp on E85. Torque is 1,280 pound-feet at 6,800 rpm.

Others have already broken the 300-mph barrier, of course, including a street-legal 2006 Ford GT and a Bugatti Chiron longtail prototype last September, with Koenigsegg claiming that simulations suggest the Jesko Absolut is capable of doing 330 mph. Still, we look forward to SSC’s inevitable assault.

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Production of the SSC Tuatara Begins

The 1,750 hp Hypercar Will Be Here Soon Enough

The 2019 SSC Tuatara was officially unveiled at Pebble Beach last year. Now the car has entered into production. The cars are being built in Richland, Washington. According to Carscoops, the first of these cars will be delivered in quarter three. After that first car is delivered, the company plans to keep churning the cars out.  

The 2019 SSC Tuatara will be a true force to be reckoned with. The car is said to have the lowest drag coefficient of any production car out there. The car has a drag coefficient of 0.279. That’s better than Bugatti, Koenigsegg, and Hennessey. The Tuatara is powered by a twin-turbo 5.9-liter V8. When it runs on the right fuel it will produce 1,750 hp. That means SSC should have a good chance at hitting 300 mph, which is a goal all hypercars are chasing right now. 

2011 SSC Tuatara2011 SSC Tuatara

The engine is mated to a 7-speed transmission that operates on a special hydraulic Automac AMT system. The setup should help the car make faster gear changes, which would help the car accelerate quicker. Performance numbers in terms of 0-60 mph times and top speed are still being kept secret. The number of models the company plans to produce in total was also not listed. We hope it’s a lot of them. 

SSC dubs 2019 the ‘Year of the Tuatara,’ releases driving video

By the Chinese lunar measurements, 2019 is the Year of the Pig, but SSC North America goes by a different calendar. According to its own time, 2019 is the Year of the Tuatara.

SSC Founder and CEO Jerod Shelby and designer Jason Castriota officially unveiled (again) the Tuatara with full specs at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in impressive fashion. It peacocks an other-wordly shape, it sits lower to the ground than a vacuum cleaner, and has a twin-turbo V8 with a claimed maximum output of 1,750 horsepower on E85 Flex Fuel. But it kind of disappeared after Pebble.

We recently saw the car physically moving at a dealership, yet parking lot maneuvers only show so much. That gave a nice aural preview, but the public has been begging for video of it in action on real roads doing real driving. Two new videos direct from SSC provide that footage. Sorta.

One clip is 39 seconds and shows the Tuatara overtaking SSC’s first supercar, the Ultimate Aero. The second clip is 25 seconds, with half of that taken up by a logo and a hashtag. The second video shows the car entering an open road, as well as taking a turn on a twisty, both a low speeds.

When this car will finally make it into the hands of the public, we’re not sure, but it’s sure nice to look at.

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SSC Tuatara – V8 Hypercar Concept Comes To Life

1,750 HP SSC Tuatara Joins The Battle For Speed Supremacy

SSC North America has unveiled the production version of the SSC Tuatara at the 2018 Pebble Beach Coucours d’Elegance. The car was first unveiled as a concept in 2011, show-goers were treated to its final form after years of tweaks and revision. Despite the time that has passed, the production version actually looks almost identical to the concept in its initial release, with a few changes made to improve the appearance and functionality of the front and rear fascia.

Ultimately, the Tuatara aims to win the race for the fastest top speed in a production car – a competition which currently  involves the likes of Bugatti, Koenigsegg and Hennessey. In order to achieve this feat, the Tuatara boasts a mid-mounted, 5.9L twin-turbocharged V8 engine which produces 1,750-horsepower. In addition, the company also claims that thanks to its aerodynamic, ultra-light carbon fibre body, the car has a drag coefficient of 0.279 – the lowest amongst its competitors – and a dry weight of 2,750 lbs.

To top off its arsenal, the car comes with a seven-speed ‘computerized robotic shift system’ transmission. SSC claims that the Tuatara will attain a “top speed that is projected to easily surpass the current world record”, which also hints that we can expect the car to exceed 300 mph.

There are no pricing details at the moment, but that information will be revealed closer to its official release sometime in 2019.

SSC Tuatara revealed with up to 1,750 horsepower, with 300 mph record in mind

Seven years after the concept made its debut at Pebble Beach, the production SSC Tuatara is finally here. And, impressively, it seems to deliver on exactly what was promised with the concept, from the exterior to the engine specs. The body looks nearly identical to that initial shape designed by Jason Castriota, the man behind the Bertone Mantide, Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina and the Saab PhoeniX concept. It has the jet-fighter cockpit, rocket-like nose, and winglets at the back that could make a ’59 Cadillac jealous. The company claims it’s seriously slippery, too, with a coefficient of drag of 0.276, which the company also points out is slicker than the Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Agera and Hennessey Venom F5. The only major change seems to be at the back, which features substantially more open grille-work, perhaps to cool the monstrous engine underneath.

The engine is a twin-turbocharged V8 with a displacement of 5.9 liters that Shelby Supercars co-developed with Nelson Racing Engines, a company that specializes in high-performance versions of GM, Ford and Mopar V8s. The turbos feed into dual water-to-air intercoolers, and fuel comes via pairs of injectors to each cylinder. The engine also features a flat-plane crank that likely helps it reach its screaming 8,800 rpm redline. Two power ratings are quoted for the engine. The first of 1,350 horsepower is the same as what the company quoted back in 2011, and it is achieved on 91 octane gasoline. The other is a shocking 1,750 horsepower, which is available when using E85 ethanol. Power goes to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automated sequential manual transmission.

SSC is also promising a potential record-beating top speed. The company says it’s confident it will hit roughly 300 mph with the car, which is substantially more than the less aerodynamic Koenigsegg Agera RS’s current record of 277.9 mph. It’s also the same top speed Hennessey is targeting for the Venom F5. We have reason to believe SSC can pull this off, since the company’s previous car, the SSC Ultimate Aero, held the official world record for top speed for a while in the mid- to late-2000s, beating the Bugatti Veyron.

We imagine a top speed run isn’t too far into the future, since the company says it’s ready to begin producing the Tuatara at its facility in West Richland, Wash. It’s also taking pre-orders right now for what will be a much larger production run than initially planned. Originally, SSC planned on building just up to 40 examples, but it will now build 100. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the company said the car would probably cost a bit over $1 million back in 2011. That may be higher now that seven years of inflation and such have passed.

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SSC Tuatara’s twin-turbo V8 showed off ahead of Pebble Beach

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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SSC — remember them? — releases new teaser image for Tuatara supercar

Remember the SSC Tuatara? The supercar from the company formerly known as Shelby SuperCars that aimed to reclaim the record of fastest production car for its parent company, which once held that title with the Ultimate Aero?

Well, it’s back from the dead, maybe. At least, the company released a new teaser image for the Tuatara along with the tagline, “The evolution is coming.” The car dates back to 2011 as a concept and has never been unveiled in the traditional sense. And there’s no other new information to go from.

SSC announced the Tuatara, named for a lizard native to New Zealand that possesses the fastest-evolving DNA on the planet, back in 2011. And we heard rumblings over the years, most recently in 2013, that the car was on track to be built at a plant in southeastern Washington and offered for sale for a cool $1.3 million. That plant reportedly has been delayed as the company founder, Jerod Shelby, sought financing. The Tri-City Herald newspaper in late 2016 reported that SSC broke ground on the facility in 2013, but that little else had happened at the site.

The Tuatara’s most recently known specs were 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque from its 6.8-liter V8. The company is perhaps best known for the Ultimate Aero, which held the record for fastest production car, having been clocked at 257 mph in 2007, before ceding the mark to Bugatti and the Veyron SS in 2010. Of course, last fall a Koenigsegg Agera RS hit 277.9 mph in Nevada in a still-unverified new record, and Hennessey is gunning for speed-demon Nirvana with its Venom F5, which claims a top speed of 301 mph. So the competition has only intensified in the years since SSC has gone quiet.

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