It’s Not a Bugatti, It’s Not a Ferrari. This is the Fastest Car on Earth

Technology

It’s Not a Bugatti, It’s Not a Ferrari. This is the Fastest Car on Earth

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Motorheads rejoice, because the world has a new fastest car. Earlier this week, a supercar owned by an obscure American automaker broke all records when it posted an average speed of a flabbergasting 508 km/hr on a 11 kilometre stretch of road.

The SSC Tuatara hypercar, as it is called, went on to officially be termed the fastest vehicle in the world, after it sped past records set by predecessors like the Bugatti Chiron and the Koenigsegg Agera RS.

Oliver Webb, a 29-year-old British driver had the pleasure of breaking the record in Las Vegas on October 10, in the presence of officials from Guinness World Records. It’s also the same stretch of road where many previous records have been set.

After hitting an average of 508 km/hr, Webb also went on to set the highest speed by a vehicle on a public road at 532 km/hr. The test was monitored and recorded by a GPS measurement device and 15 satellites, along with two witnesses.

But despite achieving speeds that most planes do during take-off, Webb was later quoted as saying he believed the car could go even faster if it wasn’t for the crosswinds. And it makes sense, considering the SSC Tuatara has a twin-turbo 5.9 litre V8 engine and produces 1,750 horsepower while weighing a mere 1,247 kilogrammes.

“As I approached 331mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20mph within the last five seconds. The car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realising the car’s limit,” Webb told Top Gear.

Shelby Supercars (SSC), the company responsible for the beast of a vehicle, has announced that it will make just 100 units of the Tuatara, each of which will cost upwards of $1.6 million to manufacture. The founder of the company, Jerod Shelby, said he was thrilled that they had managed to pull off the feat with a much smaller budget and team than most of his competitors.

“This success tastes even sweeter, taking the news of this victory back to our home state of Washington, where we’d only dreamed of this when we’d started this company in a garage,” he was quoted as saying.

SSC was formed in 1998, without much fanfare and only 24 employees. Today it might be the most common name, even among the community, but if they keep making cars like the Tuatara, that may soon change.

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