SSC has again become the king of speed. The company made an announcement that a customer-owned Tuatara driven by the racer Oliver Webb, set a new production-vehicle land-speed record of 316.11 mph, as per reports. The record attempt happened on Saturday, October 10, on a seven-mile stretch of the State Route 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. is once again the speed king.
The record attempt followed the criteria of the validation set by the Guinness Book Records that was originally developed with the help of SSC before the SSC Ultimate Aero's record-breaking run in 2007. The criteria needed a two-way average with both the runs within an hour of each other for accounting for wind and gradients. It also needed a public road, use of street tires, satellite tracking, and street fuel.
Two runs in the opposite directions were done for setting the record. They got performed within a span of an hour, with the car running E85 fuel and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. One run recorded a top speed of 301.07 mph and the other touched 331.15 mph. The two speeds were then averaged to 316.11 mph. Two record-sanctioned witnesses were present at the site for verifying the runs and procedures.
Tuatara Sets Record
"As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20 mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. The car wasn't running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car's limit," Webb said as reported by Motor Authority.
The car that Webb drove was the first production Tuatara SSC produced. The car ran in stock condition and had a four-point seating harness and no roll cage. SSC CEO Jerod Shelby said that the team overfilled the Cup 2 tires with nitrogen. He mentioned that the active rear wing was licked in the top-speed mode so that it could not retract or angle for the braking if something went wrong. The car was set to Track mode, which enabled a lower ride height.
Webb also set three other records. The Tuatara set the records for the fastest flying mile on a public road at 313.12 mph, the fastest flying kilometer on the rapid road at 321 mph, and also the highest speed reached on a public road at 331 mph.
Only 100 examples of the Tuatara are going to be built at the company's facility in Richland, Washington and each one starts from $1.9 million. The car is powered by SSC-developed 5.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 that makes 1,350 horsepower on 91 octane and 1,750 hp on E85.
The engine spins for 8,800 rpm and also sends power to the wheels at the rear through a 7-speed automated manual transmission, which has the ability to shift in less than 100 milliseconds. The transmission is made by CIMA. The dry weight of the Tuatara is only 2,750 pounds.