In October 2020, the SSC Tuatara appeared in a video by the American manufacturer, saying it was the fastest car in the world. It reached 316 mph (508.5 km/h) two-way average – nearly 20% faster than the previous record of 277.87 mph (447.19 km/h) set by the Koenigsegg Agera in 2017.
However, many people questioned its veracity, and the company itself admitted that the editing made the video look unreal. So it decided to retake the race, this time reaching 282.9 mph (455.3 km/h) – below the previous speed, but still fast enough to be the fastest in the world. The record was set on January 17 at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility.
It managed to reach 279.7 mph (450.1 km/h) northbound and 286.1 mph (460.4 km/h) southbound, for an average speed of 282.9 mph (455.3 km/h). To record the speeds reached, the supercar was equipped with measuring equipment from Racelogic, Life Racing, Garmin, and IMRA, to eliminate any doubts about the numbers achieved by Tuatara.
The SSC Tuatara is equipped with a 5.9-liter V8 twin-turbo engine, a flat-plane-crank V8 that develops 1,750 horsepower on E85 – gasoline with 85% ethanol and 1,350 hp on 91 octanes. To help, the model’s aerodynamic coefficient is just 0.29.
At the wheel, the unit’s owner, Larry Caplin, managed to achieve the feat with the Tuatara. Instead of some seven miles (11.2 km) of Nevada highway, this time, the attempt was made on a space shuttle runway at the Kennedy Space Center. This means it was pedal to the metal for just 2.3 miles (3.7 km), leaving a further 0.7 miles (1.1 km) to slow down in. The reduced dimensions of the track and the success of this new contact suggest that SSC will try to make a third attempt in the future on a terrain where it can make the most of its car’s potential.