Watch the SSC Tuatara do 60-120 mph in less than three seconds

Tony Markovich

It's easy to get distracted by the huge power numbers that surround the Tuatara. SSC North America claims the supercar can produce up to 1,750 horsepower when using E85 fuel and has claimed throughout the car's development that it will be able to achieve speeds faster than 300 mph. But it's the overlooked journey to 300 where hundreds of impressive feats and mini miracles are happening. SSC just released footage of the Tuatara zooming from 60 mph to 120 mph in less than three seconds.

The mid-engined Tuatara is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.9-liter, 366-cubic-inch V8 that is linked to a seven-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission. With an 8.80:1 compression ratio, the engine can produce a claimed 1,750 horsepower on E85 or 1,350 horsepower with 91-octane fuel. The car weighs only 2,750 pounds dry, sits only 42 inches high, and has a slippery 0.279 coefficient of drag. So it's not surprising that it's quick, but seeing it in action brings a different level of understanding what this thing can do.

After releasing several videos about the car's handling and speed, SSC released a 22-second clip titled, "Acceleration." The video is taken from the driver's point of view, with focus intended to be on the car's speedometer. The car starts at about 43 mph and ends at 139 mph on what appears to be a public road. Combining the the car's 8,800-rpm redline with its snap shifting make for an impressive show.

In an interview with Top Gear, SSC revealed the car is capable of doing 60 mph to 120 mph in 2.5 seconds. This insane number was discovered during 90-percent second-to-third-to-fourth-gear pulls.

"I noticed, during those pulls, that I wasn’t feeling any indication of our rev-limiter kicking in at 8,500+rpm," SSC Founder and CEO Jerod Shelby told Top Gear. "So, when we got back to our facilities, we emailed the data logs off to our master tuner (a daily occurrence). ... I got a call from a very excited tuner later that night, while I was eating dinner with my family, saying, ‘do you realize that you’re going from 60 mph to 120 mph in 2.5 seconds flat in a couple of these pulls?’"

With this type of performance, it could be assumed that the Tuatara is all-wheel drive, but it is not. Power is handled strictly by the rear wheels, so the run is even more impressive. Check out the video above, and examine the details in the gallery up top.

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