Washington-based SSC snagged the top-speed record from Bugatti, but it's not planning to rest on its laurels. It confirmed it will expand its lineup with a supercar that's cheaper and less powerful than the Tuatara.
Speaking to Motor Authority, company founder and CEO Jerod Shelby said the car is called Little Brother internally. It will arrive with a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated V8 engine tuned to develop between 700 and 800 horsepower, and SSC will charge between $400,000 and $500,000 for it. It's too early to tell if the firm will take the twin turbos off the Tuatara's 5.9-liter V8 and tune it accordingly, or if it will develop an engine from scratch.
To put these figures into perspective, the record-setting Tuatara that maxed out at 331 mph and averaged 316 mph on a cordoned-off stretch of highway in rural Nevada develops 1,350 horsepower when it's burning pump gas and 1,750 horsepower when it's slurping E85. It's limited to 100 units, and each one starts at $1.9 million.
Shelby (who is not in any way related to Carroll Shelby, or to the company that bears his name) added the Little Brother will follow the design direction blazed by the Tuatara (pictured), which was penned with input from former Saab design director Jason Castriota. But while the development team has been working on Little Brother for the past couple of years, it won't shift the project into high gear until about 2022, when the company reaches its goal of building 25 units of the Tuatara annually. That means the family might not grow until 2023 at the earliest.
SSC hopes branching out into more volume-oriented segments of the market will increase its name recognition.
"Instead of one-tenth of 1% of the population that can afford a Tuatara, or any of these hypercars, the Little Brother would make it more in that range where you might see three or four in a lot of cities," Shelby noted in an interview with CarBuzz. As for an SUV, he affirmed SSC hasn't been interested in the segment.