SSC Teases the Tuatara Again, Might Actually Build It After Seven Years

Automotive News 95 January 3, 2018 by

Many of us are familiar with the concept of vaporware — a software title that’s announced but never comes out. But what about when it comes to cars? It’s rare, but it happens. The most recent example of a four-wheeled Duke Nukem Forever comes from SSC, with its Tuatara and the teaser shot it released today.

The Tuatara is a car that’s been in perpetual development hell. First announced as a concept all the way back in 2011 information trickled in over the following few years. In 2013 rumors circulated saying that production could start in December of that year. Unfortunately, that never transpired.

Now nearly five years later SSC is back with another teaser image of the Tuatara and the caption “The Evolution is Coming”.

Enthusiasts might remember SSC as Shelby SuperCars a company that started in 1999 by Jerod Shelby (no relation to Carroll). Its first and only car – the Ultimate Aero – held the top speed record of 256.18 mph from 2007-2010. This is until the Hennessey Venom GT came along and smashed it.

The Ultimate Aero saw an end to its production in 2013. Since then only snippets of news came from the automaker. It now seems like there’s a new interest in the company again.

From what we know about the Tuatara it’s going to be monster – that is if it sees the light of day. With a 6.9-liter, twin-turbo V8 the projected horsepower is 1,350. The 0-60 estimate is around 2.3 seconds and the top speed, according to Shelby, is 276mph.

The direction of the car might be a little different now, however. With Koenigsegg setting its staggering top speed record and Hennessey promising a 300 mph Venom F5, SSC will need to step it up if it wants to reclaim its title.

The car will enter production at a state-of-the-art facility in West Richland, Washington. However, scouring Google Maps shows no indication of the factory at all in the small town. Even with a search, all it shows is a house and a bunch of vacant land. Needless to say, this probably isn’t the best of signs.

As for the name of the car, if it has you scratching your head, don’t worry — you aren’t alone. The Tuatara gets its name from a small lizard hailing from New Zealand. The lizard’s claim to fame? It has the fastest evolving DNA of any known animal.

For a car that’s taking its dear sweet time to actually be built, let alone evolving into something better, this name isn’t the most fitting.

Hopefully, in the coming months, we get more information about the Tuatara. As for right now though, we aren’t holding our breath.

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