Meet The SSC Tuatara: The American Supercar That Set 316 mph World Speed Record
This is the world’s fastest production car. And it belongs to American supercar builder SSC.
The company is based in Richland, Washington, and put British racing driver Oliver Webb behind the wheel of the $1.9 million Tuatara. Webb hit an insane speed of 331.15 mph on a closed stretch of State Route 160 in Pahrump, Nevada, on October 10.
The Supercar is carbon fiber and powered by a 5.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 built by Nelson Racing Engines. It pushes out 1,750 hp if running on E85 and 1,350 hp running on 91 octane fuel. For the record-breaking run, it ran on stock nitrogen-filled Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which aren’t *officially* rated for 331 mph anywhere.
The record run was achieved after a 301.07 mph run in the opposite direction. This gave both Webb and the car a 316.11 mph average as required by most record-keeping authorities in order to account for wind and other factors.
The previous record was a 277.9 mph average set by Swedish automaker Koenigsegg on the same road in 2017 and then the 304.77 one-way speed reached by the Bugatti Chiron on VW’s test track in Germany. However, neither of the previous runs was verified by an outside organization.
SSC (formerly known as Shelby Supercars after founder Jerod Shelby) has submitted its data to Guinness World Records. The company has already been recognized by Guinness for its earlier Ultimate Aero model as the world’s fastest production car from 2007 to 2010. Pilot Chuck Bigelow, 73, drove it to a 256.14 average on a public road in Washington.
The Tuatara has been in development since 2011 and the car driven by Webb was the first customer car. The company plans to build 12 more through 2021 but then no more than 25 annually until 100 have been produced.