SSC clears the air, confirms its Tuatara did not break 300 MPH barrier during controversial...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,433   +132
Staff member
A hot potato: SSC North America is back in the news this week, and is putting a stamp on its controversial world record attempt back in October 2020. We still don't have all of the answers as to what exactly went wrong, but at least we know for certain that the 300 MPH barrier was not broken on that day.

American hypercar company SSC North America found itself at the center of controversy in late 2020 after releasing a video depicting its flagship vehicle, the Tuatara, smashing the world record for the fastest production car with an average speed of 316.11 MPH (the average of two runs, one hitting 301.07 MPH and the other reaching 331.15 MPH).

Inconsistencies in the video led to questions, and that resulted in SSC North America admitting that there was an error on the editing side related to the video. The company vowed to redo the run, and made good on that promise a few months later.

Unfortunately, the second outing was marred by mechanical issues and they ultimately only hit 251.2 MPH on their final run before two spark plugs bit the bullet.

The story continues this week as SSC North America in a recent post on Instagram attempted to clear the air. “If it hasn’t been made clear up to this point, we would like to acknowledge officially that we did not reach the originally claimed speeds of 331 MPH or even 301 MPH in October of 2020,” the post read.

The team said they were heartbroken to learn that they didn’t achieve their goal, but added that they are still aiming to break the 300 MPH barrier “transparently, officially and undoubtedly.”

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Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,718   +2,024
TechSpot Elite
300mph barrier? Does the decimal system and the English measurement system somehow create a physical speed barrier?


Posts: 17,192   +5,933
300mph barrier? Does the decimal system and the English measurement system somehow create a physical speed barrier?
We don't interfere with your syntax, slang, or colloquial expressions, so please don't make light of ours. In fact, we fought a war in 1776 to prevent it.

Not only that, but tea sucks, it's only suitable for little old ladies, which is the principle reason we threw it overboard.

Moving beyond our past differences, the "300 MPH (480 Kph)" while figurative though it may be, does exist, because of a number of variables.. Primarily because you can only "soup up" a reciprocating piston engine so much, before it starts eating it's own parts

For instance, somewhere between 8,000 to 11,000 BHP can be coaxed out of a Chrysler "hemi" block. Unfortunately., this reduces its service life to slightly less than 1/4 mile.

An interesting read, (or IMO an interesting read), is the history of the Wright "Duplex Cyclone" R-3350. These beasts were notorious for eating their own pistons, but nonetheless, used to power the famous Lockheed, "Super Constellation", in passenger service. .


Posts: 65   +28
What's the deal with them "learning" they didn't achieve their goal -- I mean, doesn't the car have a speedo on it, or one of those "0-60 time and acceleration" GPS things in it that I've seen on car shows? You'd think they'd know how fast they were going (at least more or less... claiming 331 when they didn't reach 300 is over 10% off!)


Posts: 734   +172
SSC should take a page out of Isuzu's playbook.

In a 90's TV ad, "Joe Isuzu" boasted the new "Isuzu Impreza" had "a top speed of 300 MPH*."

The asterisk led to a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen: "*Downhill in a hurricane." :D
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