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Founder And CEO Jerod Shelby Says The Company Will Pass On Building Trucks And SUVs, For Now

SSC Tuatara Top Speed Record Run
Image via SSC

As the SSC Tuatara looks to crack the 300 mph barrier (officially), we recently caught up with SSC North America founder and CEO Jerod Shelby about what the world can expect next from America’s hypercar company. In short, a top-speed re-run is going to happen, followed by a campaign at the Nürburgring.

One may wonder how well a low-downforce hypercar designed to go fast in straight lines will do around The Green Hell. However, Jerod Shelby and the rest of SSC North America have yet to reveal the track-only, high-downforce variant of the Tuatara.

We will build 100 units of the Tuatara Coupe… and we have follow-up versions in the works for the Tuatara… we currently offer a top speed model of the Tuatara and a high-downforce version, and that can be a street version or a track-only car,” said Shelby in an interview with MC&T. “And we’re almost selling more track versions than we are top speed cars… they look more aggressive, diffusers are bigger, and the wings are bigger.”

SSC Tuatara Jerod Shelby Top Speed Run
Image via SSC.

SSC hasn’t officially revealed any images of the high-downforce Tuatara, but that’s expected to change soon. If you’re keen on seeing what it looks like, you’ll have to check MC&T in the coming days.

Despite currently holding the production car top speed record, the track-focused Tuatara, according to Shelby, is what the hypercar is made for.

“This car is more suited for road racing settings,” he said. “The braking, the cornering, the acceleration, all of the above, make this a very good track car. And we’re very excited about that and that’s going to be our next focus.”

As for what’s next, don’t expect SSC to make an SUV or a truck anytime soon.

*laughs* no, not currently. Haven’t thought in that direction. I know there’s a lot of manufacturers thinking in that direction… 5-10 years from now maybe we’ll be in that market, but not as of today.”

SSC Tutara Rear Assembly Nelson Racing Engines Engine
Image via SSC

When the SSC Tuatara is established, Shelby says his company plans of following up with a “Little Brother” supercar, that will cost a fraction of the price compared to the flagship hypercar.

As for what Jerod Shelby has in his garage, it’s a rather approachable choice.

“I get to drive the Tuataras all the time… I don’t really have any exotic cars,” said Shelby.” This is probably boring but I drive a newer Chevrolet Suburban… other than that, I’m a big fan of the Audi R8. I’ve always been very impressed with the engineering and performance of that car they produce for the price. I don’t own one… I think I get my excitement driving the Tuataras.”

The SSC Tuatara will start at around $1.6 million to $1.9 million, depending on the variant that customers opt for. From there, they will get to choose between 14 pages of options and personalization.

SSC North America Tuatara
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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