SSC has officially broken the production car speed record with its Tuatara. And this time it actually is official. The record was set in a customer-owned car by the customer, Dr Larry Caplin, who achieved an average speed of 282.9 mph.
The record was set last Sunday, and took place at the 2.3 miles of tarmac at the Jonny Bohnmer Grounds at Space Florida’s LLF, Kennedy Space Center.
Heading North, the car reached 279.7 mph, but almost an hour later, the car was able to reach 286.1 mph in the opposite direction, setting the average of 282.9 mph and beating the Agera RS record which sat at 277.9 mph.
Unlike last time, which came under serious fire for being a possible fake attempt, the SSC team fitted the car with a host of timing and GPS equipment such as multiple satellite tracking systems including two Racelogic VBox systems, a Life Racing tracking system, two Garmin systems, and a trap speed system from the International Mile Racing Association.
Jim Lau, technical director for Racelogic North America, was there to watch the run and oversee his equipment, and he was joined by Nürburgring taxi driver Robert Mitchell who was also there to witness the high speed run.
The Racelogic equipment was verified by MA by Eddie Nakato, founder of AR Motorsport, who said the following:
“Good satellite signal, did all the things they said they did, and the data matches up. It’s as legit as it can be.”
The last run which failed in December forced them to swap the final drive ratio to 3.167 from the original 2.92 used on the original run, and they were also forced to re-engineer the cooling system with larger intercoolers, a higher water capacity in the water-to-air intercoolers, and more venting for the dry-sump oil system. Eventually, all Tuataras will be retrofitted with these upgrades.
The car produces 1,750 hp and 1,322 lb-ft of torque thanks to E85 and a 5.9-litre twin-turbo V8. This power is taken to the rear wheels via a 7-speed automated manual transmission.
Let’s see what Hennessey brings to the challenge with their Venom F5 approaching testing soon.