The Controversy of the 331mph SSC Tuatara World Record – Case Closed?

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The SSC Tuatara’s 331mph world record top speed run has certainly been a controversial discussion! Following my questions surrounding the published video, Jerod Shelby has now announced that SSC will be doing another run with the Tuatara to set the record straight. However, there are still concerns that haven’t been addressed that will play a part in the next attempt.

SSC reported that on 10th October, 2020, the Tuatara in production specification form broke a top speed record with one direction at 331.15mph and the other at 301.07mph for an average of 316.1mph – beating the previous record of the Koenigsegg Agera RS by 38.2mph (from 277.9mph). The runs took place on the very same road, the Nevada Highway 160 from the intersection with Tecopa Road with the Tuatara’s fastest direction heading South-East towards Las Vegas and the slow speed on the return.

After the initial questions I raised surrounding the video published by Top Gear, a number of statements, press releases and bits of information have surfaced which introduce further questions to discuss. Equally, the topic has generated all sorts of stories published and discussed at length, some of which have perhaps been incorrect.

With further analysis of the initial record run itself, join me to further establish the particular video footage used, the gearbox within the car through sonic visualisation, and the speed traveled relative to an Airbus H125 helicopter flying alongside.

A huge shout out goes to Kaare for his work starting on the analysis of the audio, and the guidance to continue doing so in a bid to understand the gearbox ratios further.

Robert’s analysis:

Misha’s reply to Jerod Shelby:

Information and data sources:

Jerod Shelby Statement:

BBC Top Gear 331mph Record video:

SSC Tuatara vs Koenigsegg Agera RS head to head video:

Start location for the run:

Oli Webb confirming 6th gear for the run:

SSC Press Releases:

Running Data:

SSC Tuatara 331.15mph on 10th Oct 2020
Average run speed of 316.1mph
Faster run SE, slower run NW of 301.07mph

Median Comparisons:

Start to 1st median
Distance: 1.69km / 1.05m
Time: 38.18s = 99.5mph avg

1st to 2nd median
Distance: 1.81km / 1.13m
Time: 22.64s = 179.7mph avg
Entry at 192mph, exit at 307mph

2nd to 3rd median
Distance: 2.28km / 1.42m
Time: 28.24s including a pause
Pause is 3:82
Total time: 24.40s = 209.5mph avg
Entry at 307mph, peak of 331mph, exit at 242mph

1st to 3rd
Total excluding the pause is 47.39s = 195mph
Entry at 194mph, exit at 242mph, 331mph along the way

Thanks for watching, Tim



Shmee150 says:

It's been a week of questions and discussion surrounding the controversial 331mph world record top speed run by the SSC Tuatara. However, to put this behind, Jerod Shelby has now announced that they will undertake a second run to set the record straight!

kwaku oppong says:

It's a production car. Tuatara could have raced this car all day. A drag race to a hypercar is nothing.

Hubert Kostkowski says:

case isnt closed, if ssc realize dream than why do this in non professional way? its fake or try will be repeated- its too much for a dream?

Damar Alfaruq says:

How about doing a race with ssc tuatara vs bugati bolide vs devel sixteen

Ian hudson says:


Arthur Curry says:

It never happened at 331 mph. Case closed!

khlymore says:

that one is as fast as the devel 16 maybe devel is still faster lmfaoo!!!!

DJ Salad says:

What if its like the moon conspiracy where they lost/mishandled the footage of the actual record setting run and couldn't repeat the same run so they faked one 🧐🤯🧠

Kingbanter says:

Shmee you’re a genius mate!
You’re being very diplomatic about the whole thing .
We all know it’s a deep fake !
And a flawed one too.
Well done man..
What a bunch of fools

kudakwashe zvaita says:

I think these top car speed record should be regulated properly.
These people can easily cheat and manipulate videos.
Well done Shmee !
They might even cheat for the second time too and put fake speed meter stuff.

Serenoj69 says:

Well they did 282 m/h. Which is 50 m/h slower than they proclaimed and that is about what was to be expected. A new record. But reliability to my mind has to be a company trait 100%. While we cannot prove they cheated, I think we can safely say this is very fishy and to me their reliability has gone the drain. I would never buy anything from such a company given that it all revolves around speed and how convenient something screwed it up in themost pleasant way possible…

Stan Echols says:

The second I heard the accent I knew what this was about.

Estarossa says:

I swear this is just a glitch in the matrix

Dale Dykes says:

SSC does it for real. And without a professional driver and only 2.3 miles of track. Lends credence to the earlier claim of 331 mph.

Rangatiratūmeke says:

Good work there, Shmee. I don't know why they weren't strict on doing it properly. That car could probably smoke anything in a straight run.

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