The SSC Tuatara has hit 295mph | Top Gear
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Supercars

The SSC Tuatara has hit 295mph

SSC deploys a customer car in Florida, goes fast

Published: 25 May 2022
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An SSC Tuatara has hit 295mph in Florida.

SSC confirmed that “hypercar collector” Larry Caplin drove his own Tuatara along the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Space Florida’s LLF Kennedy Space Center earlier this month.

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Caplin was also behind the 282.9mph run last year, though that was a two-way average; SSC stated this new run was a “top speed of 295.0mph”.

Back in October 2020, SSC claimed it had run a two-way average of 316.11mph, with a vmax claimed at 331mph, though this was mired in controversy; GPS makers Dewetron said none of its employees were present at the speed run and didn’t validate any results, and Shelby later admitted it “hadn’t double checked the accuracy of the video before it was released”.

“At first glance, it appears that the videos released have differences in where the editors had overlaid the data logger (which displays speed), in relation to the car’s location on the run,” SSC said. “That variance in ‘sync points’ accounts for differing records of the run.”

As a result of the company’s “extra levels of transparency and validation measures”, SSC said data for this 295mph run – conducted on 14 May – was recorded by Racelogic with dual VBOX GNSS systems onboard the car, along with a Life Racing GPS unit for “additional data acquisition”. A Racelogic technician was also present during the run, as was an “independent analyst”.

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Boss Jerod Shelby was also there. “The sheer rate of acceleration that the Tuatara was producing all the way through 295mph really told us that this car is not even close to reaching its ceiling,” he said. “All the data and imagery has given us a clear picture that the limiting factor wasn’t the car, but the fact that we ran out of runway.” Still a little short of the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, which remains the only hypercar to have crested 300mph.

The Tuatara runs a twin-turbo V8 producing 1,750bhp when run on E85 or Methanol, or 1,350bhp on 91 octane fuel. It’s housed in a carbon fibre monocoque and matched to a seven-speed gearbox driving the rear wheels. The body itself claims a drag coefficient of 0.279, and SSC said from 150mph to 295mph, the car “maintained a perfect aerodynamic balance of 37 per cent front and 63 per cent rear”.

SSC said its already working with customers to “pursue soaring goals with their Tuataras”, and that 295mph isn’t the end of the ambitions it has with its hypercar. Two new variants of the Tuatara were confirmed last year, along with news that a smaller hypercar dubbed ‘The Little Brother’ will also appear.

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