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Fastest Car = Fastest Lap Time?

SSC Tuatara
Image via SSC

The SSC Tuatara recently finished a record-setting top speed run at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds Space Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. There are still plans for SSC founder Jerod Shelby and his team to further push the top speed limits of this all-American hypercar (more on that very soon), but after that, there’s a very clear goal in mind: a hot lap around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife.

We recently caught up with Jerod Shelby, who shared with us all the details he could.

“We actually are looking at (running the SSC Tuatara at the Nürburgring),” said Shelby. “We’re talking to a group about Nürburgring, and that will be one of our next focuses after top speed.”

That’s not to say Jerod is taking this next SSC Tuatara endeavor lightly.

“We do understand that is an extreme challenge,” he said. “I think anybody that says ‘we’re gonna go down there and set a great lap time,’ I think they’re crazy.”

He’s not wrong. Several high profile companies and brands that have attempted to conquer the The Green Hell have been burned at least once. Who can forget the terrible Koenigsegg One:1 crash that happened in 2016? Or Tesla’s attempt with the Model S Plaid that ended on a flat bed? Or why Chevrolet never published a C7 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 ‘Ring lap time?

All of these mishaps happened in the hands of hardened drivers hustling these vehicles to the highest limit. A lot can go wrong in a split second. Everything has to go right for the SSC Tuatara.

SSC Tuatara Jerod Shelby Top Speed Run
Jerod Shelby and the SSC Tuatara. Image via SSC.

“I think it’s such an extreme and technical track,” said Shelby. “You gotta have the right driver, you gotta have a great vehicle, and you do a lot of tuning and testing there, because it’s not a smooth track.”

As for estimated lap times, Shelby didn’t want to spoil any surprises.

SSC Tuatara top speed run
Image via SSC.

Focusing on the fact that the SSC Tuatara is foremost demonstrating its abilities as the fastest production car in the world, there’s plenty to share in that regard.

“What we’ve done the past couple of months and what we’re going to continue to do in the next couple of months over the top speed side… we’re going to be sharing a lot more videos in the coming weeks to show exactly what goes on behind the scenes,” explained Mr. Shelby.

Top speed and ‘Ring lap times aren’t the only things that customers are interested in when shopping for a $1.9 million hypercar that goes from 60-120 in 2.5 seconds. Of course, the quarter-mile time comes into mind.

“As soon as we’re done showing the top speed of the car, we’re going to – in a very public way – we’re going to be showing the quarter mile, and standing mile as well,” he said.

As for entering high-speed events like The Texas Mile, Shelby said he’d leave it up to the customers.

“Potentially. That’s something we might do with a customer. If a customer wanted to do that and we supported that,” he noted.

SSC Tuatara Top Speed Record Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds Kennedy Space Center
Image via SSC.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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