SSC Tuatara hypercar made in Richland breaks world record

Tri-Cities hypercar becomes world’s fastest production vehicle
SSC Tuatara Courtesy SSC North America
Courtesy: SSC North America

Video courtesy: SSC North America and Driven Studios

RICHLAND, Wash. — A car built in the Tri-Cities has broken the world record for “Fastest Production Vehicle,” Richland-based carmaker SSC North America said Monday.

The SSC Tuatara broke the speed record earlier this month, accelerating to a top speed of 331.15 mph. The record-breaking run in the Tuatara by SSC North America took place near Pahrump, Nevada, the company announced:

With internationally acclaimed professional racing driver, Oliver Webb, at the Tuatara’s wheel, the record-breaking drive took place on the morning of Saturday, October 10, outside of Las Vegas near Pahrump, Nevada along a seven-mile stretch of State Route 160.

Webb pushed the SSC Tuatara to an average speed of 316.11 mph (508.73 km/h) following two consecutive high-speed test runs of 301.07 mph (484.53 km/h) and 331.15 mph (532.93 km/h). In accordance with record criteria, the Tuatara traveled in opposite directions, clocking its speeds within one hour, to break the world record for “Fastest Production Vehicle.”

The hypercar has 1,750 horsepower with E85 flex fuel and is the first production car to surpass the 300 mph barrier.

FIRST ON KAPP-KVEW (VIDEO): First Tuatara built for a customer comes to life inside Richland facility

“It’s been ten years since we held this record with our first car, the Ultimate Aero, and the Tuatara is leagues ahead. Its performance reflects the dedication and focus with which we pursued this achievement,” said Jerod Shelby, CEO of SSC. “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.”

Shelby is a Tri-Cities native. He grew up in Richland racing go-karts on a national level. Shelby spoke with KAPP-KVEW in early, pre-pandemic 2020 about his plans for his company.

“As we move forward, that international brand of SSC will be known more and more, and it’s based right here in Richland, Washington,” Shelby said. “I really feel like we’re going to help put Tri-Cities on the map.”

You can say that again. The record is making international headlines.

FIRST ON KAPP-KVEW: Hypercar made in the Tri-Cities aims to beat world record

The driver during the record run says the Tuatara could have gone even faster.

“There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” said Oliver Webb, who piloted the record run. “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, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car’s limit.”

In addition to the “Fastest Production Vehicle” record, SSC North America says the Tuatara broke the world records for:

  • “Fastest Flying Mile on a Public Road” at 313.12 mph (503.92 km/h)
  • “Fastest Flying Kilometer on a Public Road” at 321.35 mph (517.16 km/h)
  • “Highest Speed Achieved on a Public Road” at 331.15 mph (532.93 km/h)

In order to claim a world record, the Tuatara had to be identical to the same vehicle a customer might purchase. Shelby told KAPP-KVEW that SSC North America plans to make only 100 Tuataras. Between the limited supply and the price tag rumored to be close to $2 million, good luck getting your hands on one.

Video used with permission; visit thedrivenapp.com for more content on SSC and the record runs.