The SSC Tuatara, the controversial American hypercar powered by a twin-turbo 5.9-liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine that makes 1,750 horsepower on E85, is facing another setback for its quest to prove its performance.
In a report by The Drive (video of the crashed Tuatara from the tow yard shown above), the Tuatara survived a crash while in transit on a car carrier in Utah. The accident happened on April 13 when the car carrier was flipped over to the side by strong winds on I-15.
And yes, this is the Tuatara #001 owned by Larry Caplin – the very same car and driver combo that claimed the title of fastest production car back in January.
Apparently, the Tuatara and the SSC team were on their way to Florida for the planned second 300-mph run, which was set to happen on April 17. There were no fatal injuries from the crash though one among the driver and passenger was later hospitalized, SSC owner Jarod Shelby told The Drive.
SSC has faced several setbacks in claiming the throne of the fastest production car with the SSC Tuatara. First, its claimed top speed 316-mile-per-hour (508-kilometer-per-hour) run in Nevada was showered with doubt, which prompted SSC to do the re-run at the John Bohmer Proving Grounds.
The SSC team was successful then, registering an average of 282.9 mph (455.2 km/h) for two passes (discounting the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+'s one-pass run in 2019).
Then again, despite setting the record straight, SSC still wasn't free of naysayers. That's mainly because the Tuatara hasn't replicated the first 300+ mph run in Nevada, therefore not erasing doubts about the real capabilities of the hypercar. With that, SSC is still on a quest to break the 300 mph barrier on record, but it looks like this crash will be yet another huge setback for the company.
As shown in the photos sent to The Drive, the Tuatara sustained heavy damages because of the incident. Shelby told the publication that the damages were merely cosmetic and that the chassis, drivetrain, and suspension weren't touched.
With that said, it looks like SSC is still set to beat the 300 mph barrier, telling The Drive that this setback just changed their timing.