Third attempt after first marred with controversy
On a much shorter circuit, SSC still tops 450 km/h
After giving up on dealing with the controversy blamed on a video editing mistake, then having its second attempt thwarted by an overheating issue, SSC North America says that the SSC Tuatara is once again the fastest production car in the world.
The first attempt was made back in October on a deserted (and closed) stretch of Nevada highway. The average speed of the car was said to be 316.11 mph (508.73 km/h) for the runs in each direction, but then things got complicated. SSC posted a video that appeared to show a car going more than a hundred miles per hour more slowly than the result suggested. SSC said it was an editing error, with the wrong footage being used, but then GPS telemetry company Dewetron first said that it didn’t validate the speed data because no employees were present, then reversed course and said that it was verified after all.
Rather than deal with sorting that all out, SSC’s Jerod Shelby said the company would just do it over again. So they did, this time on a much shorter runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That attempt, just before Christmas, the Florida heat caused some issues so they stopped the attempt.
The third time was the charm, and once again on the Kennedy Space Center runway (offering just 2.3 miles instead of the seven used in Nevada), the car set a production car speed record. Racelogig USA certified the data recorded on a Racelogic VBOX 3i 100Hz GNSS system installed by Racelogic’s own tech director.
The speeds: massive, though slightly less than in Nevada. 279.7 mph northbound and 286.1 southbound 50 minutes later for a two-way average of 282.9 mph. That’s 450.1, 460.4, and 455.3 km/h respectively. SSC had multiple other data loggers in the car just to make sure everything jived, and these numbers come direct from Racelogic.
It’s not the 300/500 breaking run from Nevada, but it’s still 5 mph (8 km/h) more than the Koenigsegg Agera RS managed on that longer Nevada highway, and that’s what really matters.
SSC isn’t done yet, planning to come back to the runway once again to try for the 300 mph mark, since this attempt used full power only in seventh gear. Maybe they’ll head back for Nevada eventually, too.