Supercar company says pricey coupe broke speed record at 282.9 mph

A U.S. supercar company claimed for a second time it broke the record for the world’s fastest production car. Washington-based SSC North America announced Wednesday its pricey Tuatara coupe had an average speed of 282.9 mph over two test runs on a landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida last week.

Each run was conducted in the opposite direction of the other over the course of an hour January 17 to offset how wind or the grade of the landing strip affected the car, the company said. The Tuatara, which has a reported base price of over $1.6 million that can increase to a fully equipped price of just over $1.9 million, reached a maximum speed of 279.7 mph in its first run and 286.1 mph in its second, according to SSC.

In October, SSC claimed it broke the record of 277.87 mph set by Sweden’s Koenigsegg Automotive in 2017. SSC said a Tuatara reached an average speed of 316.11 mph on a highway outside Las Vegas, but doubts about the accuracy of the company’s claim led its founder to make a second attempt at the record.

“We immediately requested the video files — we hadn’t possessed any of them yet — and we got our hands on a couple of ’em, and the first couple from the same run, we all of a sudden were seeing the same doubts,” Jerod Shelby said in a video statement at the time. “We were seeing different speeds for the very same run, and the more we looked and the more we tried to analyze, the more we were concerned.”

SSC said it hired Racelogic USA to certify the January speeds. A video shows a Tuatara owner, Larry Caplin, reaching the top speeds as he shoots down the Kennedy landing strip.

In the video, Shelby said Caplin only had 2.3 miles to break the record, much less than the 7 miles of roadway used in the October attempt in Nevada.

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