When high end luxury automakers and sports automakers make statements like, “we will launch a ‘cheaper and more affordable’ vehicle’, I am often bummed knowing that their version of “affordable” is not often ‘affordable’ for the regular Joey (Pun intended).
Recently in an interview with Top Gear, Jerod Shelby, founder of Shelby Super Cars (SSC), spoke about a ‘younger brother’ of the beastly Tuatara that might be joining their brand very soon. He also went on to say that this upcoming model would be a lot like the Tuatara in terms of designing and performance. Oh and, Jerod also said that this new car would be “scaled down and priced in a range where a much larger portion of the population can purchase and enjoy it”. I feel the need to remind my readers that a fully equipped SSC Tuatara costs about $2 million, so if SSC decides to build an ‘affordable’ car, expect its cost to still burn quite a significant hole in your pocket. And for some people, burn the WHOLE pocket.
Even if the Tuatara’s younger sibling costs half of the Tuatara, the price would still sit around the $1 million mark, and I am entirely sure that a cost like this cannot be paid by a ‘larger portion of the population’. Anyway, let me not be bogged down by that and focus on the gear herd side of things. The lower price tag does suggest that more units of this entry level model could be produced. SSC will only be making a 100 units of the Tuatara, and it makes sense, given that not many people are going to purchase a car with a hefty price tag like it does. Also, a car that costs $2 mil shall only retain it’s value as an investment if it is limited. Knowing that most people will sadly buy it to preserve it and sell it for more i.e. as an investment
To bring me back from that grief, SSC brings more news to us. SSC has been wanting to win the laurel of ‘worlds fastest car’ for long. In order to do so, they need to do 3 things, a) beat the Bugatti Chiron top speed, b) find a straight flat road where they can test the capabilities of the Tuatara and c) bring in a skillful driver to drive this speed demon. I mean technically the Bugatti doesn’t hold the record cause it wasn’t mass produced and SSC will need to drive in both directions but, again I will focus on the ‘gear head’ side.
Well, SSC has ticked off options b) and c) above, as they have found a suitable road and a driver brave enough to take on this endeavor. SSC have claimed that the Tuatara can hit the 300 mph mark, but this was all talk and no road test had been conducted where the Tuatara achieved this feat. In order to beat the lightning fast Chiron, the Tuatara would have to cross the speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/hr). Armed with a 5.9 litre V8 producing a total of 1350 on pump fuel, and with E85 fuel, the Tuatara horsepower jumps to 1750 hp. In theory, with an engine like this, the Tuatara can get past the Chiron’s top speed, but that is yet to be seen.
SSC is not the only one who wishes to displace Bugatti’s position as world’s fastest automaker. Koenigsegg’s Jesko Absolut on paper can storm past both the Tuatara and Chiron with its top speed of 330 mph (531 km/hr). And knowing what Ksegg did with their quite older Agera RS, they truly are the big challenge to SSC in my opinion. Especially after the greatest ‘hold my beer’ ever at the end of their Regera acceleration video. Even Hennessey believes that its F5 has the goods to make it the fastest production car. Soon each of these brands will have an opportunity to test their vehicles, but what would be even more fun to witness, is these 4 cars, racing each other, need for speed style. I went too far with the gear head side I know!