It’s been a while since we last heard about SSC North America (formerly Shelby SuperCars) and its promised Tuatara supercar, a car that could potentially reclaim the production car land speed record for the firm. That is, if the project ever manages to get off the ground.
So far all we’ve seen is a concept. That was back in 2011. However, SSC last month released this teaser for what is presumably the production version of the Tuatara. The name comes from a lizard found in New Zealand.
Unfortunately, the teaser is the only new information we have from SSC.
A lack of financing is the likely cause of the delays. Company founder Jerod Shelby in 2011 revealed plans for construction of a plant for the Tuatara to be located in West Richland, Washington. The plant was expected to come online in 2015. However, local outlet Tri-City Herald in late 2016 reported that work on the site suffered delays as SSC sought new funds.
Should the Tuatara turn out to be more than vapoware, the most recent specs suggest the car will come with a 7.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 delivering 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque. To be built in partnership with Nelson Racing Engines, the mighty motor is said to see the Tuatara deliver a 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds, a quarter mile ET of 9.75 seconds, and a top speed of 276 mph.
Note, Koenigsegg’s Agera RS has since set a new production car land speed record of 277.9 mph, so if SSC is hopeful of reclaiming the title the Tuatara will need a higher top speed now. And Koenigsegg is just one firm in this very limited segment that SSC needs to go up against now. Since the Tuatara concept was revealed, we’ve seen more successful firms enter the market such as Apollo, Hennessey, W Motors and Zenvo.