New SSC Tuatara supercar aims to reclaim speed record for US

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SSC Aero supercar

Supercar-maker SSC has announced its next car, the Tuatara, which will succeed the wildly fast SSC Aero (pictured) to retake the land-speed record currently held by the Bugatti Veyron. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Only a select group of people will ever be able to own a supercar, and only a fraction of that group will ever own one that set a land speed record for a production automobile. However, anyone who can afford it may want to hold off until the SSC Aero Tuatara hits showrooms. The Amerian-made supercar is built to squash current records.

Bugatti Veyron and SSC Ultimate Aero rivalry resumes

The Big Three of Detroit do make supercars. The new generation Dodge Viper will be available soon. High-end models of the Corvette practically have a nuclear bomb under the hood. However, the super-fast cars made by The Big Three aren’t quite the equals of brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini or Koenigsegg. One small car firm, called Shelby SuperCars or SSC, in the U.S. set out to take on these brands some years ago. SSC’s first car, the SSC Ultimate Aero, stole the land speed record from the original Bugatti Veyron. That led to the development of the Veyron SuperSport, which recaptured the lead. SSC has a new car coming out that is poised to take the record back, according to Automobile magazine.

Enter the Tuatara

Company founder and owner Jerod Shelby, according to Wikipedia, is not related to race and design legend Carroll Shelby. SSC has been working on a successor to the Aero, and the initial details have just been released. The car is called the Tuatara, named for a species of reptile. The Tuatara has a seven-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that will produce a terrifying 1,350 horsepower. The car hasn’t entered the record books officially yet, but the goal is to recapture the record for the fastest production car from the Europeans. According to AutoGuide, it’s expected to have a top speed of about 275 miles per hour. SSC’s Ultimate Aero set the record of 256 miles per hour in 2007. The current record is held by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at 267 miles an hour.

Maori groups protest name

The Tuatara’s name is inspired by a reptile native to New Zealand. Tuatara in the Maori language means “peaks on the back,” according to Stuff, a New Zealand news website. The reptile’s name was initially inspired by the 2008 findings of David Lambert, an evolutionary biologist who discovered the tuatara had the fastest-changing DNA among all animal species. The name itself inspired the design of the rear spoiler, which has small winglets. However, Maori groups are protesting the use of the name because the reptile is of great cultural significance to the Maori, according to Wikipedia, and they believe the commercial use of the Tuatara is an insult to their culture.

Sources

Automobile

Wikipedia on SSC

AutoGuide

Stuff.co.nz

Wikipedia on Tuatara

Shelby SuperCars website

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