The SSC Tuatara is the officially recognized fastest production car in the world at 282.9 mph. We emphasize officially because the realm of factory-stock top speed is somewhat controversial at the moment. Among other things, the Tuatara itself is likely much faster, and it could go higher still if an electrified all-wheel-drive version joins the party.
Such a car is in the works, according to Motor Authority. SSC founder and CEO Jerod Shelby reportedly said as much in a recent interview, though details of the project weren’t discussed. Some information was made available, such as dual motors for the front wheels. That would give the hypercar all-wheel-drive grip, though the status of the electrified Tuatara’s internal combustion engine is unknown. For that matter, it may not wear a Tuatara badge. The project is said to be independent of standard Tuatara production, with 2025 targeted for deliveries.
The report also mentions something less abstract – the Tuatara Striker. This track-only version of the Tuatara debuted in May 2021, but now we learn that it will have its in-person debut in August at Pebble Beach. The Striker has triple the downforce at speeds over 160 mph versus the standard car, thanks in part to a big rear wing, front splitter, modified diffuser, and other aero tweaks. Power remains the same, but with 1,750 horsepower (1,305 kilowatts) already available from the mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 5.9-liter V8, it’s not like a power upgrade is remotely necessary.
Motor1.com contacted SSC North America for confirmation and a comment on this information. We will jump in with an update should fresh news become available.
SSC shocked the world in 2020 by claiming a 316-mph top speed record, averaged in two directions on a long stretch of Nevada highway. The data was later proven inaccurate, and SSC has been inching back towards the 300-mph mark ever since. Just a few days ago, SSC shared a video showing the Tuatara reaching 295 mph at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds in Florida, though the speed was achieved in a single direction so it’s an unofficial benchmark.
To negate the effects of wind or elevation on a vehicle, official top speed runs must take place in opposite directions within a certain amount of time. The two speeds are then averaged, which is why the 304-mph one-way speed achieved by the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300 + remains unofficial.