After years of teasing, the first one is on the road. Get the scoop on this long-awaited supercar.
Name: SSC Tuatara
Debut: August 2018, Monterey Car Week
Specs: Twin-turbocharged 5.9-litre V8, 1,350 bhp on 91-octane, 1,750 bhp on E85
SSC delivered its first Tuatara hypercar to a customer during this year's Monterey Car Week, and the event was a long time coming. The brand first debuted the name of the model in 2011 and had the intention of handing over the first one in December 2013 or January 2014. Things didn't go as planned, and SSC finally unveiled the production-spec Tuatara during Monterey Car Week in 2018. A year later, the first buyer got the keys.
Waiting Is The Hardest Part
SSC stands for Shelby SuperCars, but the moniker doesn't refer to Carroll Shelby but instead founder Jerod Shelby. The company's first project was the Ultimate Aero, and that model gained notoriety for achieving a Guinness World Record top speed at the time of 256.18 mph. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport eventually beat it by reaching 267.856 mph.
The Tuatara's story started in 2010 with what was initially reported as a second generation of the Ultimate Aero. The automaker confirmed the Tuatara name for the vehicle in 2011. Development moved forward for the next several years but missed some intended debuts of the production-spec example. In early 2018, news arrived that the Tuatara was nearly complete, and the car made its much-anticipated debut on August 26, 2018.
Here It Is!
So, is the Tuatara worth the wait? We can't render a true verdict without driving one, but the specs are certainly impressive.
In addition to the powerful engine, the Tuatara has a carbon fibre monocoque and body panels to keep the dry weight to 1,247 kilograms. The svelte shape has a drag coefficient of just 0.279. A robotised CIMA seven-speed gearbox can allegedly shift through the cogs in less than 100 milliseconds.
SSC intends to build just 100 units of the Tuatara. As of 2013, the company planned to charge $1.3 million (approx. £1 million at current exchange rates) for each example.