The SSC Tuatara Still Looks Like A Spaceship In 2019

The SSC Tuatara still needs to jump through a number of hurdles before it reaches the production line but the carmaker continues to show off the vehicle to prospective buyers. Earlier this month, the vehicle made an appearance at Miller Motorcars and while the design is more than seven years old, it still looks more like a spaceship than a production car.

SSC, led by Jerod Shelby, famously revealed the Tuatara at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with bold performance ambitions. However, financial difficulties prevented the vehicle making its way to production and for years, it seemed as though the project was dead.

However, SSC surprised many at the 2018 Pebble Beach event in August by revealing an updated pre-production prototype and confirming once again that the car would see the light of day.

In recent years, the market for multi-million dollar hypercars has exploded thanks to custom creations from the likes of Koenigsegg and Pagani and SSC hopes to join these elite European companies with the Tuatara.

Will it happen? We’ll have to wait and see but in the meantime, we can at least enjoy looking at the hypercar.

SSC says that when the Tuatara hits the market, it will be powered by a twin-turbocharged flex-fuel 5.9-liter flat-plane crank V8 that revs to 8800 rpm and delivers 1350 hp on 91 octane fuel and 1750 hp on E85. The automaker says that this engine and the vehicle’s slippery shape will be enough to send it to over 300 mph (482 km/h).


  • Mike anonymous

    I have always loved this vehicle (although I preferred the original 2011 variant more (just a slightly differently styled rear end)), and it is really nice to see an American supercar maker (not just a tuner company (i.e. Hennessy)). ‘Join the ranks’ of the supercar world once again…

    BUT I just though that I should mention; SSC is not a startup company. The Tuatara shown here would be their second vehicle. I don’t know if many people remember during the mid 2000’s when (not Ferrari, Koenigsegg or Pagani, but) SSC was a direct rival to the Bugatti & their Bugatti Veyron for a number of years.

    So this vehicle for SCC, and for the automotive community, would be less of them ‘joining’ the ranks,. it would be much more in-line with ‘a return’ (to the ranks &) to where they started from. Either way, I am glad to see they are back and I am glad to see the working pre-production prototype driving around.

    • Mike Sinyaboot ©

      I remember the Aero but I didn’t realize that SSC only stopped production in 2013. I also didn’t realize that it was the fastest, 256.14 mph, production car in the world for several years. It held the title from 2007 until the Veyron Super Sport, 267.8 mph, took the title in 2010. In 2013, the Veyron was disqualified amid concerns about electronic speed limiting changing the function and top speed of the SS. The Aero held the title for a lengthy 5 days until an investigation reinstated the record for the SS.

      I am with you regarding this Tuatara. It looks good, I really like the rear, and fairly unique which is hard to do in the hypercar world. These cars are somewhat hard to design uniquely as their shapes/lines must be dictated by the aero they need to hit speeds of 250+ mph. To me, it looks like a blend of the Hennessey Venom F5 and the Pininfarina Ferrari P4/5 and that is a good thing. I hope both SSC and Hennessey achieve their lofty performance goals as it is about time an American company pushes the others to their limits.

  • Lucas Mattos Azevedo

    This car name in Portuguese is so weird…


  • Six_Tymes

    7 years ago this car looked mind blowing. It still looks amazing. I can see how some of the design ideas were copied by Ferrari for the the la Ferrari, but just done differently. And the open style rear certainly inspired the P1. Shame that this small company hasn’t grown. now, with all the new tech involved with hybrid in super cars, its doubtful SSC will be able to compete long term. maybe im wrong but thats the way I see it. they just didn’t get the backing they deserved many years ago

    • Mike anonymous

      Fun Fact (& this keep popping up for a number of articles, it’s amazing how many of these vehicles are actually related, but); Pininfarinas’ Jason Castriota. (The same guy behind the Maserati Birdcage Concept (also ‘trained’ by the same guy who oversaw most everything Ferrari produced & designed the Enzo).

      Now it has been updated a bit since the 2011 model (likely to give it better Aerodynamics… probably).

      Also regarding your comment, (apart from them being able to compete long-term) I completely agree.

  • I surely hope it will happened, SSC is building rather underdog cars although Tuatara design isn’t exactly my taste.

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