History tends to remember the first to break a record and not necessarily the best. The perfect example would’ve been Bugatti cracking the 300mph mark with its questionable Chiron Super Sport 300+ breaching the triple century mark with a 304.77mph (482.80kph) run.
If you weren’t the first but still desired to be remembered by the annals of history, you can’t just stop at setting a new record but will have to smash the previous mark to smithereens in the process. The perfect example of this? The SSC Tuatara wiping the floor with the Chiron by clocking an illogical 331mph (533kph) on its way to setting a new production car record.
To place that speed in perspective, that’s covering 148-metres every second. Almost makes this McLaren Speedtail's runs seem mundane.
Rumours were abound last week that SSC had broken the record but the sheer margin it raised the bar has blown the doors off the production car top speed record books. In conforming with the requirements of setting an official record, the Tuatara ran both directions of Nevada’s State Route 10 on 10 October to account for wind resistance.
The stretch of road might sound familiar as it’s the very same road that Koenigsegg set its 277.9mph (447.2kph) run back in 2017 with the Agera RS; the previous record holder.
SSC clocked 301.07mph (484.52kph) and 331.15mph (532.9kph) for an average of 316.11mph (508.72kph). Together with the record of fastest production car on the planet, the Tuatara also claimed fastest flying mile on a public road (313.12mph), fastest flying kilometer on a public road (517.16kph) and highest speed achieved on a public road (331.15mph).
Physics be damned, the Tuatara is a hypercar powered by a 5.9-litre twin turbo V8 that makes 1,750hp on E85 fuel; the exact configuration it had for this record-setting run. Plenty of carbon fibre keeps weight down to just 1,247kg and a drag coefficient of just 0.279 helps it cut through the air a lot more efficiently.
Rather excitingly, driver Oliver Webb actually admitted that the Tuatara still had plenty left it in during the run, citing less than favourable conditions such as crosswinds preventing them from going faster. According to him, the Tuatara climbed almost 20mph within the last five seconds, indicating plenty of steam left in that engine.
Now that SSC has claimed the record, all eyes will be firmly on Koenigsegg to see if the Swedish hypercar maker will try to reclaim the record.