It’s time for the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport to step aside - there’s a new top dog in the speed wars. Becoming the second production car to join the 300mph club, the SSC Tuatara topped out at 331.15mph (532.9kmh) on a seven-mile stretch of closed road in Pahrump, Nevada, near Las Vegas.
To make the record official, the Tuatara’s driver - Brit Oliver Webb - completed a pair of runs in opposite directions. The first yielded 301.07mph, giving an average of 316.11mph (503.73kmh) when combined with the 331mph return leg. For comparison, the Chiron managed a top speed 304.77mph, but that was just in one direction.
We spoke to SSC founder Jerod Shelby (full interview coming soon), and as far as he’s concerned, the true record holder the Tuatara beat is the Koenigsegg Agera RS, which used the same two-way format. If you remember, the Koenigsegg also achieved its record on a closed Nevadan road - there are few other locations on Earth suitable. Guinness World Record Certification, we’re told, will take a couple of months.
The car did its run on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, which were stress-tested to three times the necessary load. Just one set was used for the whole endeavour.
Incredibly, Webb even reckons there’s a little more left in the tank. He said:
“With better conditions, I know we could have gone faster. As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20 mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car’s limit.”