Jerod Shelby, Founder of SSC North America



SSC North America set a new world record with the Tuatara hypercar on 10th October 2020; however, the record faced intense speculation in the days that followed. Below is an explanation of the events that unfolded and led to the record, and what went wrong.

SSC’s hard work finally bore fruit when their Tuatara hypercar reached an average top speed of 316.11 mph (508.72 kmph), or so they thought. It was three years prior to this that SSC collaborated with Driven Studios to document the whole journey of this car. The team captured on video the creation of this car and every single person associated with its making. They also conducted interviews and videoed processes like car building and vehicle testing on the tracks. The capture and production of October 10’s record run of Pahrump, Nevada was the climax of this partnership of three years. On the decided date, video cameras had been set up to cover every inch of the track from the cockpit to the ground and even a low-flying T33 helicopter which would capture the Tuatara cruising down the asphalt.

The record news and video were kept hidden from the masses until 19th October. On the day of its release, SSC assumed that it had launched two different videos, one video- carrying info on speed run overlaid from the cockpit and the other a b-roll running footage. TopGear, and YouTube channels of SSC and Driven+ received the cockpit video. However, an editing mistake and negligence on the part of SSC to cross-check the video before releasing caused uproar in the audience and they were subjected to immense backlash from hypercar fans all over the world. Also, both the footages released were inaccurate cockpit videos which were a stark contrast to the videos they had initially intended to launch. Both the videos have varying ‘sync points’ of the total run since the editor overlaid the data logger at different instances as compared to the car’s run. Though SSC took its time responding to the inconsistencies, it has now made clear that the video, though misleading, was never meant to legitimize the world record. Both SSC and Driven Studios are again in works to produce and relaunch the actual footage from that day. For tracking and speed verification of the Tuatara, SSC put Dewetron equipment to use and was confirmed by an average of 15 satellites between the two runs.

Starting with first gear at 3.133/80.56 MPH, it climbs up to the gear ratio/ top speed of seventh gear at .625/353.33 MPH. After attaining Dewetron equipment, SSC team was trained remotely about its usage. The Dewetron’s sensors were fitted in the car for tracking. The run was also witnessed by two independent and unaffiliated parties. SSC will submit witness testimonies, Dewetron reports and the equipment used to Guinness for their verification. SSC is hopeful that Guinness will accept the submitted proof as well as the Austrian Test and Measurement System Dewetron’s reports which has accurately measured and legitimized four out of the last five world top-speed records.

More detailed specs –

Aerodynamic Specs:

  • Drag goes from 0.279 up to 0.314 at 311mph (500kph)
  • Car is producing approx. 770lbs of downforce at 311mph
  • It is calculated that car needs 1,473HP to achieve 311mph (500kph)
  • In order to calculate the required power the following assumptions were made:
  • The rolling resistance coefficient of the tires has been obtained from the manufacturer (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) declared energy class: E
  • The overall drivetrain efficiency (from crankshaft to wheel) has been set to 94%.
  • The air density has been set to 1,205 kg/m3 (which is found at 20°C at sea level)
  • The vehicle mass has been set to 1474 kg = 1384 kg curb weight + 90 kg driver


  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
  • Rear Tire Diameter / Circumference: 345/30ZR20
  • Normal Running Pressure = 35psi
  • 88.5” Circumference
  • 28.185” Diameter
  • World Record Running Pressure = 49psi
  • 89.125” Circumference
  • 28.38” Diameter
Aayushi Primta

Aayushi Primta

Hi there! I am an amateur automobile enthusiast with a love for muscle cars. When I'm not surfing the net about latest cars, you'll find me looking up recipe videos on YouTube or playing board games. Favourite Car: '67 Camaro Quote: Always focus on the front windshield and not the rearview mirror - Colin Powell