At the Frankfurt motor show last month, all the usual hoop-la overshadowed a not-insignificant fact that both Bugatti and Koenigsegg won’t want you to find out about too quickly: they got their arses kicked in the top speed record standings.
Let’s have a round of applause, then, for the all-American SSC Ultimate Aero TT, which set a new ‘World’s Fastest Production Car’ record with an average, and independently verified, top speed of 255.83 mph. That broke the Koenigwhatsit’s speed of 242 mph and the Bugatti’s unofficial top whack of 253 mph.
What’s more, the SSC boys did it right by getting a stretch of genuine public road in Washington State, over on America’s Pacific Northwest, closed for the record run, rather than using some banked test track. My hat goes off to the bloke driving the SSC, the awesomely-named Chuck Bigelow, who had to go through an s-bend at a minimum speed of 210 mph to ensure the car hit its top speed on the straight bit that followed.
In case you’ve never heard of an SSC, it’s a Lambo Diablo lookalike powered by a 6.3-litre twin-turbo Chevy Corvette V8 packing an impressive 1183bhp and 1094lb ft of twist. The SSC bit stands for Shelby Super Cars, which is a bit confusing as the company has nothing to do with Carroll Shelby.
SSC is hoping the ‘world’s fastest’ tag will prompt a few cash-rich performance junkies to scribble cheques for $654,000 – around £325-grand – to have an SSC of their own. And who knows, if they’ve absolutely got to have the world’s quickest, maybe they will.