Listen to the SSC Tuatara’s 5.9-liter, twin-turbo LS V-8 at speed
The SSC Tuatara has been a long time coming, but America’s latest hypercar is now ready to show off its “1.3 megawatt” twin-turbo V-8, which is a 366-cubic-inch pushrod, flat-plane-crank, LS-style motor with two fuel injectors per cylinder, built by Nelson Racing Engines. The opportunity to push it to its 8800-rpm redline regularly will only cost you a cool $1.6 million.
This high-end V-8 weighs just 428 pounds, a touch under what Aston Martin is quoting for its new twin-turbo V-6 powertrain. McLaren’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 is also in a similar weight class, yet SSC’s 5.9-liter produces more power than those two British engines combined: 1750 horsepower on E85, or 1350 hp on 91-octane pump gas. That’s why SSC printed “1.3 megawatts” on its valve covers, following Koenigsegg’s lead, which called 2014’s 1341-horsepower One:1 its first “Megacar.”
SSC has been teasing us with the Tuatara since 2011, and this continues with the latest footage showing SSC North America CEO Jerod Shelby taking the first production example for a high-speed drive. While it’s fun to watch and hear the V-8 being angry in that mid-engine pushrod chassis, it will be interesting to see what SSC’s 1.3 megawatts can do above 250 mph.
Designed by Jason Castriota, the Tuatara is a very sleek machine with a drag coefficient of just 0.279 Cd, which is right where Koenigsegg pushed its Jesko Absolut, the Swedish brand’s all-time fastest car, sporting a 0.278 Cd aero package. Hood fins and big turbos seem to pave the way towards the 300+ mph club, the exclusive gambling party already left by Bugatti yet still open to potential newcomers Hennessey, SSC North America, Koenigsegg, or any other carmaker brave enough to go all in.