SSC Ultimate Aero Breaks Production Car World Speed Record
WEST RICHLAND, WA (09/13/2007)
SSC, manufacturer of the ultra high-performance Ultimate Aero, set the new "World's Fastest Production Car" record earlier today with an average top speed of 256.18 mph. Confident of the 1183 hp vehicle's abilities, SSC set out to validate their top speed claim in accordance with the strict guidelines set by Guinness World Records. Among other requirements, in order to meet Guinness' approval, a vehicle testing for the top speed record must drive down the course, turn around, and make a second pass in the opposite direction within one hour. The vehicle's official "top speed" is calculated by averaging the top speeds of each pass in order to negate any favorable road or weather conditions. Today, on a temporarily-closed 2 lane stretch of public highway in Washington State, the Ultimate Aero posted a top speed of 257.41 mph (414.31 kph) on its first pass and 254.88 mph (410.24 kph) on its return pass, yielding a new top speed record: a staggering 256.18 mph (412.28 kph). The data, collected by Dewetron's world-renowned GPS tracking system, will be verified by Guinness before the Ultimate Aero is officially crowned the "World's Fastest Production Car." This breaks the current official record held by the Koenigsegg CCR at 242 mph by 11.83 mph and the Bugatti Veyron's unofficial speed of 253 mph by 3.14 mph.
SSC's high-speed durability and aerodynamic test runs started in March on a 12-mile stretch of Highway 93 in Elko County, Nevada. After the scouting team discovered a more appropriate test site testing moved to open roads in SSC's home state of Washington. Unlike these previous tests, which encompassed various durability trials of the Ultimate Aero's drivetrain and powertrain, today's session was dedicated solely to determining the vehicle's top speed capabilities. A recently repaved two-lane section of Highway 221 in Washington was ultimately selected for the task, though navigating the road's slight elevation changes and mid-way S-bend proved to be a challenge. Test driver Chuck Bigelow, 71 of Richland, WA, had to pass through the S-bend at a minimum of 210 mph in order to attain record speed during the following straightaway (with only 1.5 miles before braking was required); after the record-breaking run, Bigelow stated "if there was additional straight pavement on which to accelerate, the top speed would have been considerably higher and if anyone challenges your record there is tons left on the table."
The lack of a dedicated test site, which many of the larger automotive manufacturers have at their disposal, was just one of the many obstacles in SSC's way. Led by founder and lead designer Jerod Shelby, the SSC design team spent the past seven years creating, engineering, and testing the Ultimate Aero. "From the beginning, we felt confident that the Ultimate Aero was first in its class. SSC's design team deserves their place in the record books for their tireless determination and motivation on this project. We are enormously pleased with the progress we've made with the Ultimate Aero and we're excited to put more of these impressive machines into the hands of our customers," Shelby stated.
"This is a dream come true," he said while celebrating at SSC's production facility. "Everyone at SSC worked so hard in designing, testing, and building the Ultimate Aero, and now to accomplish this record is amazing. The fact that we are a small privately owned company and were able to do something much bigger companies haven't done on massive budgets makes this so exciting for the entire SSC team," said Shelby.
With 1183 bhp and 1094 ft-lbs of torque, the Ultimate Aero produces more emissions-legal horsepower than any other production automobile in the world (another Guinness World Record for which SSC is currently applying). Despite being designed to run at redline for extended periods of time, the Ultimate Aero remains remarkably drivable. The proprietary twin-turbo V8 power plant retains excellent idle characteristics, and thanks to a drag coefficient of just .357, wind tunnel testing calculates the vehicle to be aerodynamically stable to speeds up to 273 mph. Featuring all the amenities found in a luxury sedan, the supple leather/suede interior is highlighted by custom Recaro seats, a 10 speaker premium system, DVD/navigation/backup camera, and a cab-controlled lift that raises the front an extra four inches to navigate road hazards.
For additional photos, videos and information on SSC North America, the Tuatara or the Ultimate Aero, please visit SSC's official website: www.SSCNorthAmerica.com.
For all media inquiries, please direct your questions to Mr. Alan Leverett. He can be reached by email at: Alan Leverett (firstname.lastname@example.org)