SPEED RECORD: We look under the skin of the new fastest production car on the road

The Americans now hold another major world land speed record. The Shelby Supercars SSC Tuatara is now the fastest production car in the world. At an astounding 508.73 km/h. It destroyed the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport’s previous 440 km/h mark.

The Tuatara actually topped 532.93 km/h in one direction. To qualify as a record, speed runs need to be run in both directions. Within an hour on a the same road . That eliminates the odds of a favourable elevation change or tailwind.

Insane power to weight ratio

Race driver liver Webb appeared quite relaxed at the wheel. The Tuatara has a 1325 kilowatt 1735 Newton-mere 5.9-litre biturbo V8. The car weighs 1247 kilograms. Take note that’s well over a kilowatt per kilogram! SSC dropped the original 7-litre V8 in search of more top-end power. The E85 fuelled Tuatara now makes peak torque at 6800 rpm. It produces 1007 kW using premium unleaded gas

Top fuel drag race engine builders Nelson Racing built The SSC’s V8. It has a billet aluminium cylinder block and a flat-plane crankshaft. Add electronic sequential port fuel injection with dual injectors on each cylinder. And a sequential intake system with dual-water to air intercoolers. . It has a robotised paddle-shifting sequential seven-speed sequential gearbox.

Winglets stabilise Tuatara beyond 400 km/h

The swoopy Tuatara has an aluminium honeycomb and carbonfibre chassis and carbon laminate bodywork. A pair of winglets on the rear fenders stabilise the car beyond 400 km/h and the entire underbody acts as a Venturi diffuser. Tuatara has 41cm ventilated and slotted carbon-ceramic disc brakes with 6-piston calipers up front. And 38cm discs with 4-piston callipers at the rear.

Shelby Supercars will build only 100 Tuataras at $1.3 million a pop.

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