American hypercar company SSC North America has set a new production car speed record with its 1750bhp Tuatara.
Piloted by British racing driver Oliver Webb, the Tuatara conducted two runs of a seven-mile stretch of road in Nevada at an average speed of 316.11mph – almost 40mph more than the 277.84mph achieved by the Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017.
The Tuatara also beat the 304.77mph mark set by the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ last year, although that record was unofficial, because the car travelled in only one direction. Guinness World Record rules state that to set the ‘fastest production vehicle’ record, a car must drive the same route in opposite directions and average the two speeds.
In addition, it must be a production car, achieve the record on public roads, have its speed tracked by a certified GPS measurement system, have two world-record sanctioned witnesses on site for verification and run on street-specification tyres and fuel.
SSC boss Jerod Shelby said: “It has been 10 years since we held this record with our first car, the Ultimate Aero [which clocked 256.14mph to hold the record from 2007-2010], and the Tuatara is leagues ahead. Its performance reflects the dedication and focus with which we pursued this achievement.
“We came pretty close to meeting the theoretical numbers, which is astonishing to do in a real-world setting on a public road. America’s new claim to victory in the ‘land-based space race’ is going to be tough to beat.”
During its record-breaking run, the Tuatara also set the fastest flying mile on a public road (313.12mph) and the highest speed achieved on a public road (331.15mph).
Its bespoke twin-turbocharged 5.9-litre V8 engine – made in collaboration with Nelson Racing Engines – produces 1750bhp while using E85 fuel (1350bhp on 91 Octane) and 1280lb ft of torque. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a seven-speed manual gearbox.
The Tuatara will be produced at a purpose-built facility in West Richland, Washington, and will cost around $1.3 million (£1 million). Just 100 examples are planned to be made.