The SSC Tuatara is already a hypercar that melts the spec sheet. With 1,750 horsepower and a 280+ mph speed run officially registered to its name, followed by the announcements of the high-downforce Striker and Aggressor packages, and near-infinite customization options, one would assume that there’s little room for the American-made machine to improve. But founder Jerod Shelby and the rest of SSC North America have figured out at least one way: the integration of methanol fuel capability on all Tuatara models.
The fueling system of the SSC Tuatara is flexible enough to allow customers to run a mix of gasoline-ethanol, gasoline-methanol, or straight 91+ octane, straight ethanol, or straight methanol. Between the three, customers can fill up based on their needs for fuel economy (gasoline), or performance (methanol/ethanol).
Say you’re an SSC Tuatara customer and you’re struggling to find available places to fill up on methanol. That’s fine, as SSC North America plans to offer exclusive packages to Tuatara owners that provide shipment of fuel and other essential elements directly to their garage, or racetrack, through partnerships between SSC and performance fuel brands.
Such are the perks of owning a $1.6+ million dollar hypercar.
“As the world continues to search for new, clean and renewable energy sources for combustion engines, methanol has raced back onto the scene. The opportunity to integrate expanded capabilities into our existing platform became obvious when we also realized the sweeping benefits of using a synthesized methanol-based fuel in our Tuatara, Striker and Aggressor powerplants”, said CEO Jerod Shelby. “As methanol is among the most promising alternatives for significantly shrinking our cars’ carbon footprint, we decided to offer it to our customers and incorporate it into our flex-fuel arsenal.”
The Benefits Of Running The SSC Tuatara On Methanol
Methanol is a naturally cleaner, cooler burning fuel. As a result, methanol produces radically lower sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter relative to either gasoline or diesel fuel. Furthermore, the integration of the fuel requires almost no alterations to the 5.9L twin-turbo V8 supplied by Nelson Racing Engines for SSC. For the engine, running on methanol should lead to lower operating temps – great for turbos – and smoother operation. And as far as safety goes, ethanol fires are also easier to extinguish, and more difficult to ignite relative to gasoline.
“The peace of mind that it provides by lowering operating and exhaust temperatures gives an even greater sense of confidence as the Tuatara continues to push the envelope on the street and the track,” said Shelby.
Accepted as a cleaner alternative to conventional fuels, methanol can be produced using a variety of renewable and sustainable techniques utilizing municipal waste (garbage), biomass (plants) and recycled carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas).
Beyond the SSC Tuatara hypercar, the Washington-based automaker is also exploring methanol capabilities for future use in its next-generation of performance vehicles.