SSC North America has finally put the hypercar into production. Just 100 examples will be built in total and the first was revealed on Friday at the Philadelphia Auto Show.
The car was actually delivered to its owner, Larry Caplin of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during 2019 Monterey Car Week, and he’s kept his new toy a secret for half a year.
Designed by Jason Castriota, whose previous work included the Ferrari 599, Maserati GranTurismo, Pininfarina Rolls-Royce Hyperion and other notable projects, it boasts a 0.279 drag coefficient, an aerospace carbon fiber skin and a monocoque chassis with hypercar looks to match.
It’s been given the powerplant to do so, on paper at least. Developed with Nelson Racing Engines, the 5.9-liter twin-turbo V8 with the flat-plane crank and 8,800-rpm redline produces 1,350 horsepower on 91 octane, 1,750 hp on E85. Torque maxes out at 1,280 pound-feet at 6,800 rpm, all to move a car that weighs 2,750 pounds dry. A CIMA seven-speed automated manual gearbox manages shifting, swapping cogs in less than 100 milliseconds in Track Mode before sending power to the rear wheels.
Daily driver intentions are fulfilled by push-button dihedral doors, a large, vertically-oriented infotainment touchscreen with controls and readouts for the expected mod-cons as well as vehicle data and telemetry, rear and blind-spot cameras, and a Front Lift Mode that raises the nose 1.6 inches when traversing obstacles. The flat-top-and-bottom steering wheel and digital cluster look properly slick. The adjustable suspension flips between the default Sport Mode and Track Mode, a 1.25-inch ride height difference between the two; at the track, the Tuatara sits just 2.75 inches off the ground at the front, 3.25 inches at the rear. SSC also says tall drivers are invited to the Tuatara party, claiming that occupants as tall as 6-foot-5 will fit comfortably, “even sporting a race helmet.”
SSC North America will produce 100 Tuatara hypercars. Each example will be manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Richland, Washington. Pricing has not been announced. Now we just need to wait to find out if the SSC Tautra can beat Bugatti’s top speed record, as SSC is confident the hypercar will break the 300-mph barrier.