There is a big difference between making power claims about a car and actually achieving those claims on a dyno. All too often, cars fall short of their power claims. The SSC Tuatara isn’t one of them.
Powering the Tuatara is a twin-turbocharged 5.9-liter V8 with a flat-plane crank, built by Nelson Racing Engines. SSC has long claimed that this V8 is good for 1,750 hp on E85 and 1,350 hp on 91 octane fuel, extraordinary figures for what is basically a road-legal car.
However, a pair of videos recently shared on SSC’s Instagram page reveals that this engine is more powerful than claimed. In the first clip, the V8 itself is put through its paces on an engine dyno and tops out at 1,890 hp, almost 150 hp more than the car manufacturer’s official claim. It’s worth noting that no information has been provided about what fuel the engine was running at the time of the test.
A second video posted to Instagram shows the first customer Tuatara, recognizable through its black and red accents, strapped to a Mustang dyno. No information is provided about how much power the car is actually pumping through the rear wheels but if it has relatively little drivetrain losses, it could be sending upwards of 1,700 hp to the pavement.
In May, SSC set a new production car top speed record in the Tuatara, hitting 295 mph (474.8 km/h) during tests along a 2.3-mile runway at the Kennedy Space Center. This test came after the car topped out at an average of 282.9 mph (455.3 km/h) across two runs in January 2021.
The Tuatara made global headlines in October 2020 when SSC claimed that it recorded a top speed average of 316.11 mph (508.73 km/h) with the car. That claim was quickly disproved when it became clear that issues with the data had led to inaccuracies in the recorded speed.