Shelby Supercars builds 1000kW SSC Tuatara – that’s right Tuatara!

Shelby Supercars builds 1000kW SSC Tuatara – that’s right Tuatara!

The word ‘Tuatara’ is a well known word for any kiwi, for us it refers to a small native lizard that we never really see around, especially now the 5 cent coin is gone. We never associate the word Tuatara with an American-built supercar, that’s just crazy right? Not anymore.

In the latest act of cultural borrowing to affect us, U.S-based carmaker Shelby Supercars has named its latest sportscar the ‘Tuatara’. Is this just some sort of conincidence? Not at all, company founder Jarod Shelby says in the video below that his Tuatara vehiclewas inspired by the New Zealand reptile that bears the same name. The Tuatara was chosen because it’s a unique creature that possesses the fastest evolving DNA of any animal on the planet. Also the word ‘Tuatara’ means in Maori “peaks on the back”, and the Shelby supercar has a uniquely styled rear wing.

“The design specifications for the Next Generation SSC were so extreme; we knew early on that a proper name would be a key piece of the puzzle for this project,” Shelby said in a statement.

However you feel about the Tuatara name being used, at least it’s on a worthy machine. Designed by Jason Castriota, the SSC Tuatara is an absolute monster. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 7.0-litre V8 powerplant which generates around 1,006kW (1,350-hp), which is sent to the rear wheels through a 7-Speed manual gearbox or optionally, a 7-Speed SMG Paddle Shift sequential auto.

Performance numbers haven’t been released but the company says that the carbon-fibre-bodied Tuatara will let it reclaim the title of the builder of the fastest production car in the world.

The American company took the crown from the standard Veyron with its 1,183HP SCC Ultimate Aero TT that recorded a top speed of 413 km/h (257mph) but lost it back to Bugatti and its 1,200HP Veyron Super Sport that recorded a top speed of 415 km/h (258mph).

“Most manufacturers essentially use the same basic model and body shape for up to 10 years, while only making small refinements to it each year,” Jarod Shelby explained. “After only three years in production with the Ultimate Aero, SSC’s Tuatara is about to monumentally evolve in the areas of sophistication, design, aerodynamics and shear all‐around performance. We felt that the fastest evolving DNA was a perfect definition of SSC’s latest project.”

Check out the video below to see Shelby explain the reasoning behind the Tuatara name.

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