For as long as there have been cars, people have been fascinated by just how fast they can go. Things went up a notch in 1987 when the world was introduced to Ferrari F40, which became the first car to break the 200 MPH barrier. Since then, names like McLaren, Koenigsegg, and Bugatti have cemented their place in history as top-speed record holders. However, every supercar in the world now has to bow to the SSC Tuatara and its verified 316.11 mph top-speed.
Rumors began floating late last week that SSC had broken the 300 mph barrier, but now the Washington-based supercar manufacturer has confirmed this feat of engineering. The test was completed on a closed seven-mile stretch of Highway 160 just outside of Pahrump, Nevada. This just so happens to be the same place that Koenigsegg had their own 277.9-mph run back in 2017. Not only did SSC smash the record set by Koenigsegg, but they also beat Bugatti’s un-verified record of 300.4 mph.
With FIA World Endurance Championship driver Oliver Webb behind the wheel, the SSC Tuatara managed to run speeds of 301.07 mph and 331.15 mph in opposite directions. The record is set by taking the average of the two passes, which is why the end result comes in at 316.11 mph. Not only was this fast enough to take the record as the fastest production car, but SSC also secured the records for both the fastest flying mile (313.12 mph) and highest speed on a public road (331.15 mph).
The craziest part about all of this is the fact that Webb has said he believes that the car had more in it, and that he backed off when he was no longer comfortable pushing. Even with 1,750 horsepower and 1,280 lb-ft of torque on tap, It’s almost mind-bending to think that the SSC could have gone even faster.
Breaking 300 mph is an incredible feat. Going over 330 mph on a public road is beyond what we thought was possible right now. The fact that the SSC Tuatara was able to do both is a triumph for the boutique manufacturer. With Bugatti already saying that they’re no longer interested in chasing these records, SSC might just have the top spot for some time to come.
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“Production car” is loosely defined by Guinness.