Published April 29, 2013
Not much has been seen or heard lately of SSC’s upcoming Veyron-rival, the Tuatara, which has led to speculation that the project may have hit a roadblock.
According to the latest from SSC, however, development is progressing as scheduled and a major milestone recently reached.
That milestone was the completion of final testing and validation for the Tuatara’s twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter V-8 engine.
Strapped to an engine dyno, the in-house developed V-8 easily reached SSC’s performance target of 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque--on 91 octane gasoline bought at the pump.
To put that into perspective, the current land speed record holder, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, puts out only 1,183 horsepower.
But what’s even more insane is that SSC is calling this only the standard output. The company says the engine is easily capable of over 1,700 horsepower, for those owners that “don't want or need to be buffered by regulations.”
Some of the tests have included running the engine at 5,500 rpm and then adding huge loads, simulating the effects of suddenly encountering a steep hill. These kinds of tests are said to be much more strenuous on the engine than even when it travels at its theoretical top speed of 275 mph.
After the dyno testing was completed, the engine was torn down for internal inspection and all the components said to look as if they were new.
The engine has been tested in the real world, too. It has been installed in test mules for the Tuatara, hidden beneath the body of SSC’s existing Ultimate Aero supercar. It powers the rear wheels only, via a seven-speed manual transmission or seven-speed sequential unit.
SSC has been developing the Tuatara for the past three years and claims that it is an amazingly docile package that could easily serve as daily driver. We’ll have to reserve our own judgment until we finally hop behind the wheel.
“This amazingly versatile package has already shown that it can easily be driven on a daily basis in any climate or environment in the world and at the same time can roll out of the pit area onto a track like Nürburgring and easily handle any rigors that record will require,” SSC founder Jerod Shelby said in a statement.
Unfortunately, there’s been no mention of when the Tuatara will be ready for sale.