After over a decade of readying production, Washington-state-based automaker SSC has finally unveiled the first example of their long-awaited supercar: the SSC Tuatara. Boasting devilishly good looks and more than enough performance on tap, the folks over at SSC seem to be aiming square at the mega-fast hypercars of the world. Eat your heart out Bugatti, the 300 mph Americans are officially here to play.
The SSC Tuatara has been around in some form or another for about a decade now, since former Pininfarina designer Jason Castriota first penned the car’s initial shape. While the design has undergone some tweaks since then, the Ferrari P4/5 and 599 GTB Fiorano designer remains one of the best in the business. This boutique supercar is much more than just a pretty thing to look at however, thanks to the 5.9L twin-turbo flat-plane crank V8 found behind the driver.
The power plant was designed in conjunction with Nelson Racing Engines, and produces a ludicrous 1,350 horsepower on 91 octane straight from the pump. Fill the car up with some E85, and that figure jumps up to 1,750 horsepower. As if that wasn’t enough, the Tuatara routes 1,280 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels, despite its 2,750 pounds dry curb weight. Did we mention it redlines at 8,800 rpm?
The engine is mated to a CIMA seven-speed automated manual gearbox, which is capable of swapping ratios in less than 100 milliseconds when the car is in Track Mode. Speaking of Track Mode, the Tuatara features a two-mode suspension setup: sport mode is the default, while track mode drops the ride height by 1.25-inches.
The SSC Tuatara isn’t devoid of creature comforts either, with push-button dihedral doors, a large, vertically-oriented infotainment touchscreen, climate control, rear and blind-spot cameras, and a slick front nose lift which will raise the front ride height by 1.6-inches when you need to cross an obstacle. In fact, the SSC is so concerned with passenger comfort that the company states that drivers as tall as 6-foot-5 will fit comfortably while wearing a race helmet. Rather impressive.
SSC plans to build 99 more examples of their 300 mph supercar, though they haven’t yet announced what the price tag is. Back in 2013 the number $1.3 million was floated around by SSC, and with inflation we’re willing to bet it will be much higher than that.