After high-profile YouTubers began to claim the SSC Tuatara’s supposed world record-setting top speed run might not be what it seems, SSC has responded – although not entirely directly
SSC, maker of the 331mph Tuatara, has issued a cagey but confident response after a couple of high-profile YouTubers questioned the authenticity of a video showing the V8 hypercar achieving a two-way average of 316mph.
Shmee150 and Misha Charoudin both released videos suggesting the speeds shown in the onboard footage are, to put it politely, rather exaggerated. Having done some calculations based on the known distances between set points along Nevada’s Highway 160, they estimate that the Tuatara’s peak speed was no higher than 280mph, with average speeds significantly lower than the claims.
When a section of the Tuatara’s video is set beside the equivalent filmed from the Koenigsegg Agera RS along the same stretch of road, the Agera covers the same distance “significantly faster” than the Tuatara despite the latter’s telemetry readouts claiming higher speeds throughout that part of the run. Something, the YouTubers argue, doesn’t add up. When we contacted Shmee, he told us he wasn’t attacking or accusing SSC, but was saying that the official video is wrong, and he wants to know what is right.
Jerod Shelby, founder of SSC, issued a follow-up statement today. It reads:
“Here at SSC, our focus is on building hypercars that break world records.
“At Dewetron, their focus is on tracking and verifying hypercars that break world records, among other things. They’ve done that for four out of five of the last world records.” [Including one set by SSC’s Ultimate Aero – ed]
“We’re thrilled that Dewetron has just validated the Tuatara’s record-setting run.
“I know it’s hard for people to wrap their minds around the idea that SSC has built a car capable of our average top speed of 316mph. The swirl of anticipation and speculation about our record has continued since we first blocked off Route 160 in Pahrump, and we don’t mind, because we have the numbers on our side.”
Two things are immediately obvious: SSC is standing by its numbers, and its claims. Unless it emerges that Dewetron, who we’ve contacted for comment, has made a huge error, SSC is happy that its numbers are accurate. The second obvious point is that Shelby hasn’t directly addressed any of the anomalies uncovered on YouTube.
It remains to be seen whether an independent data track gets released in the wake of this uncertainty. For now, Shelby’s response reminds us that Dewetron knows what it’s doing, but in dodging the direct questions levelled, the company is leaving the rumour mill to keep on grinding.