For a company aiming to build the world’s fastest production car, Shelby SuperCars (SSC) has kept a low profile. SSC announced its Tuatara in 2011, but the supercar has only made a handful of public appearances since then. YouTuber WVM3DreamDrives was on hand for one of those rare outings.
The Tuatara appeared at Miller Motor Cars, a high-end car dealer in Greenwich, Connecticut. The car in the video is the second pre-production prototype, according to WVM3DreamDrives.
SSC (which is unrelated to Carroll Shelby of Cobra fame) claims the Tuatara is capable of 300 mph, but the car has been subject to a lengthy gestation. SSC dropped off the radar for some time before bringing a prototype Tuatara to the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and promising to follow it up shortly with a production version. The whole thing has the smell of vaporware, except that SSC did briefly hold the world speed record for production cars with its Ultimate Aero, which achieved a top speed of 256 mph in 2007.
The Tuatara does boast some serious specs. It’s powered by a 5.9-liter supercharged V8 developed in-house by SSC. The engine produces a claimed 1,750 horsepower on E85 ethanol, or 1,350 hp on 91-octane gasoline. Power is routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automated transmission.
SSC also claims that the Tuatara is fairly light (2,750 pounds dry) and that it produces less aerodynamic drag than rivals like the Bugatti Chiron, Hennessey Venom F5, and Koenigsegg Agera. A claimed drag coefficient of 0.27 should help the Tuatara slice through the air more easily.
Just 100 Tuataras will be built at SSC’s factory in Richland, Washington. The company won’t disclose pricing, but has said it plans to begin deliveries later this year. Don’t be surprised if SSC also makes an attempt at the production car speed record soon, in order to beat its rivals. The Hennessey Venom F5 is aiming for 301 mph, but the car is still under development. The Bugatti Chiron is electronically limited to 261 mph, but Bugatti has hinted that it can go faster. The current record of 277.9 was set by a Koenigsegg Agera RS on a closed stretch of Nevada highway.