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Image credit: JAMES LIPMAN / JAMESLIPMAN.COM / SSC North America

SSC NA promises a re-run of the Tuatara's top speed record attempt

Video analysis showed the Tuatara hypercar wasn't going the 331 MPH SSC's data claimed.
Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
October 31, 2020
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Less than two weeks ago, SSC North America announced that its Tuatara has taken over the claim of “fastest production car in the world,” after going over 330 MPH down a seven-mile stretch of Highway 160 in Nevada. It provided video evidence of the effort complete with overlaid data showing the runs and how fast the car is supposedly going, which is where the problems started.

Within a few days, internet sleuths had taken a more careful look at the videos SSC NA provided. They determined that when you line them up with video taken by the existing record holder (Koenigsegg’s Agera RS) setting a top speed on the same roadway, the Tuatara appears to be going slower between several landmarks. They also checked the math on the known distances of the highway, and estimated what was possible based on the car’s gearing, and called into question whether the information provided was accurate.

Since then, SSC NA has said the wrong video may have come out, but stood by tis numbers, and said the record was certified using Dewetron GPS equipment. However Dewetron said it could not certify the results, and did not have the raw data, as Autoblog’s explainer breaks down in full.

Now, early on Saturday morning, SSC NA founder and CEO Jerod Shelby posted a video acknowledging the record-setting run as “tainted,” and said he dropped the ball on properly packaging the announcement in a way that could be verified and indisputable. While he didn’t break down details of what did or did not happen on October 10th, he promised that “in the near future” SSC North America will do the top speed run again, complete with witnesses and additional support from GPS companies to verify the data. He also invited Shmee150, Misha Charoudin and Robert Mitchell — some of the YouTubers who posted videos digging into the data — to come see SSC NA next attempt in person, and thanked everyone who looked into the facts of the run.

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