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A recent test of the 1,750bhp SSC Tuatara – just your regular ‘buzz-up to 210mph’ checks to monitor shock potentiometer and downforce balances – revealed something quite extraordinary.
“I do have kind of a funny story to share,” SSC boss Jerod Shelby tells TopGear.com. “Early in the particular test day, we did a few 90 per cent throttle second-to-third-to-fourth gear pulls to data log and measure the upshift sequence timing in Track Mode (that produces aggressive shifts).
“I noticed, during those pulls, that I wasn’t feeling any indication of our rev-limiter kicking in at 8,500+rpm. So, when we got back to our facilities, we emailed the data logs off to our master tuner (a daily occurrence), and asked him to verify that the rev-limiter is still programmed to start kicking in lightly at 8,500+rpm.
“I got a call from a very excited tuner later that night, while I was eating dinner with my family, saying: ‘do you realise that you’re going from 60mph to 120mph in 2.5 seconds flat in a couple of these pulls?’
“He said ‘I didn’t think that was physically possible from a 2WD car, but I checked and your logger was tracking six satellites during these runs, so this is legitimate. That is absolutely crazy’, he said.
“My response to him was… ‘what about the rev limiter?!”
Shelby said his tuner reminded him that ‘heavily modified, 2,500-3,000bhp AWD race vehicles run those kinds of times’. The Tuatara of course, is a rear-drive hypercar designed to be driven every day. Woah.