In November 2017, Christian von Koenigsegg visited Nevada to watch Koenigsegg factory test driver Niklas Lilja challenge the 267.8-mph record speed for the world’s fastest car set by a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010. After a few high-speed runs in the Agera RS on a 12-mile stretch of Highway 160 near Pahrump, Lilja achieved an average speed of 277.9 mph, topping Bugatti’s average speed and setting a new record. But the record for fastest production-car now belongs to the 2020 SSC Tuatara hypercar, after it set a new benchmark on October 10.
The SSC Tuatara hypercar, which is a product of the Richland, Washington-based company, delivered a new Guinness world-record speed of 316.11 mph, indeed making it the fastest production car in the world.
SSC North America’s Tuatara, a $1.6-million hypercar producing 1,750 horsepower, achieved the average speed of 316.11 mph with professional race car driver Oliver Webb at the wheel. The last time SSC claimed the Guinness title of fastest production car was in 2007 when the Ultimate Aero set a 256-mph record.
Webb performed two back-to-back test runs of 301.07 mph and 331.15 mph. Of his achievement, Webb said, “There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster.” Webb said crosswinds prevented the Tuatara from realizing its ultimate limit.
Some of the requirements to claim the world record included driving the same route in opposite directions, being a production vehicle a regular customer can buy, running on street tires, and performing the record speed on a public road. On top of beating the Koenigsegg Agera RS’ average speed, the SSC Tuatara claimed three additional speed records: “Fastest Flying Mile on a Public Road,” at 313.12 mph (503.92 km/h); “Fastest Flying Kilometer on a Public Road,” at 321.35 mph (517.16 km/h); and “Highest Speed Achieved on a Public Road,” at 331.15 mph.
The mid-engine SSC Tuatara features a 5.9-liter, twin-turbo V-8 serving up 1,750 hp and 1,280 lb-ft of torque, paired to a seven-speed transmission.