There’s a new “fastest production vehicle” in the world, and it’s produced by an American hypercar company. On October 10, the SSC Tuatara annihilated the previous record set by the Koenigsegg Agera RS. Over two runs, the Tuatara averaged 508 KM/H, smashing the Agera RS’ 447 KM/H average.
That average doesn’t tell the whole story, though. The Tuatara hit a top speed of 532 KM/H in its last run, setting the bar even higher for the highest speed achieved on a public road. Just let that sink in for a quick minute. 532 KM/H in a production car on the road. The Agera RS topped out at 457 KM/H, while a longtail Chiron prototype hit 489 KM/H mph on a test track. (Since the Chiron was not a production car and was run on a test track, that doesn’t count toward the official record.)
In case you were wondering, the Tuatara’s other run to complete the average was 484 KM/H. For these records to count, you must do consecutive runs in opposite directions within an hour of each other — this accounts for wind and elevation changes in the road. Officials (including Guinness World Records) were in attendance to independently verify all the data and confirm that SSC did indeed break the previous world record.
“There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” said Webb. “As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20 mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod [Shelby], the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car’s limit.”
This record comes 10 years after SSC set a record with its first car, the Ultimate Aero. The Tuatara’s performance far outclasses the Ultimate Aero’s, and it put up the numbers to show it. Nothing about this specific SSC Tuatara is any different from a production version. In fact, this Tuatara is privately owned. It has the same flat-plane crank 5.9-liter twin-turbo V8 that powers all Tuataras. When run on E85 (as this one was), it’s capable of 1,750 horsepower. Running it on 91 octane lowers power to 1,350 horses. A seven-speed automated manual transmission does the shifting.