SSC working on Tuatara’s “Little Brother,” Tuatara shoots fire, runs 60-120 mph in 2.5 seconds

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As the SSC Tuatara enters production, the company is planning a smaller, less-expensive “little brother” for the 1,750-horsepower supercar.

The second model will be “scaled down and priced in a range where a much larger portion of the population can purchase and enjoy it,” SSC boss Jerod Shelby told Top Gear last month.

Meanwhile, SSC is continuing to test the Tuatara, even after delivering the first production model. During a series of second-third-fourth-gear acceleration runs, the car managed 60-120 mph in just 2.5 seconds, Shelby said in a separate interview with Top Gear Monday.

That acceleration is made possible by a bespoke SSC-developed 5.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 that produces 1,350 hp on pump gas and 1,750 hp on E85 as it approaches its 8,800 rpm redline. A 7-speed automated manual transmission supplied by Italy’s CIMA sends power to the rear wheels. The gearbox can shift in less than 100 milliseconds, according to SSC.

SSC plans to challenge Bugatti for the title of world’s fastest production car, a crown SSC briefly held with its previous supercar, the Ultimate Aero. In 2018, Shelby said the Tuatara was the only car with a “legitimate shot” at 300 mph. He turned out to be wrong: Bugatti broke the 300-mph barrier with the Chiron Super Sport 300+ in 2019. The record is now 304.773 mph.

SSC is not ready to discuss timing for the Tuatara’s “little brother,” but the company is already committed to building 100 examples of the Tuatara at its Richland, Washington, facility. Most work is handled in-house, including construction of the Tuatara’s carbon-fiber monocoque and bodywork.

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Saurabh Shukla

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