Funny old world, isn’t it, when a 282mph two-way average for a production car is something of a disappointment. But such is the situation that SSC North America finds itself in with the Tuatara, mired in controversy since its 316mph claimed average speed run (and alleged 331mph maximum) was called into question because of issues with the published video.
SSC said it would return, though, and - all credit to it - return it has, with a new top speed run at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida measured by a Racelogic VBOX 3i 100Hz GNSS data logger. The information from that was verified, in fact, by Racelogic’s Technical Director, Jim Lau. And there’s the VBOX video for further correlation. There’s a signed validation form on the website and everything. A repeat of last snafu would be unthinkable.
Disappointingly, if not entirely unexpectedly, the numbers turned out to be not quite as ballistic as they were last year, likely because therre was just 2.3 miles to work with. Still, a northbound run on the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds yielded 279.7mph (with ownerr Dr Larry Caplin driving!), and the return leg brought up 286.1mph, meaning an average of 282.9mph. Still phenomenally fast, and enough to beat Koenigsegg's 277.9mph production car record from 2017, if some way off the 304.7mph achieved by the Bugatti Chiron in 2019. A new benchmark speed is being claimed by SSC as the Bugatti was not timed in two directions.
Will SSC ever surpass the Bugatti’s incredible milestone? It’s impossible to know for certain just yet, even though the Tuatara’s enormous potential has been amply demonstrated. If one thing is for certain it’s that SSC will keep trying - they’ll want to beat Bugatti before Koenigsegg does…
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