SSC North America expands flexible-fuel capabilities of its powertrain assembly to meet the alternative fuel opportunities of road-legal and performance vehicles, integrating a synthesized methanol catalyst as a standard fuel option in all Tuatara models, as well as future exploration for use in the next-generation of SSC performance vehicles.
After the release of the SSC V8 in August 2018, the flexible-fuel capabilities of the Tuatara’s powerplant allowed for 1,750 horsepower while operating on E85 ethanol and 1,350 horsepower on 91 octane gasoline, making it the most powerful hypercar in its class at that time. In the years since, SSC North America has continued to analyze changes in industry standards, emissions fundamentals, and technological growth in energy sciences. “As the world continues to search for new, clean and renewable energy sources for combustion engines, methanol has raced back onto the scene. The opportunity to integrate expanded capabilities into our existing platform became obvious when we also realized the sweeping benefits of using a synthesized methanol-based fuel in our Tuatara, Striker and Aggressor powerplants”, says CEO Jerod Shelby.
Accepted as a cleaner alternative to conventional fuels, methanol can be produced using a variety of renewable and sustainable techniques. The clean-burning properties of the fuel produce radically lower sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter than gasoline or diesel. Furthermore, the integration of the fuel requires almost no alterations to the SSC 5.9L V8’s already established flex fuel system and sensors and allows the developed powerplants already deployed on the production line of Tuataras to meet greater sustainability standards. Shelby added, “As methanol is among the most promising alternatives for significantly shrinking our cars’ carbon footprint, we decided to offer it to our customers and incorporate it into our flex-fuel arsenal.”
When considering safety outside the powerplant, methanol offers a far greater margin of security to individuals operating the vehicle or handling the fuel. The cooler burning nature of methanol makes it easier to extinguish, as well as more difficult to ignite. Jerod Shelby explains, "The peace of mind that it provides by lowering operating and exhaust temperatures gives an even greater sense of confidence as the Tuatara continues to push the envelope on the street and the track.”
The flex fuel sensing capabilities of the SSC powertrain gives the owner the ability to operate their Tuatara on a variety of gasoline-ethanol mixes, gasoline-methanol mixes, or straight 91 octane, ethanol, or methanol. This standard ability in all Tuatara models that come off the factory floor allows the operator to choose fuel based on fuel economy, performance, or accessibility to different fuels. The increasing demand for methanol as a vehicle fuel is making it more accessible across the globe as countries integrate it as a conventional fuel source for public transportation fleets and public fuel pumps. Additionally, SSC North America plans to offer exclusive packages to Tuatara owners that provide shipment of fuel and other essential elements directly to their garage or racetrack through partnerships between SSC and performance fuel brands.
Founded by Jerod Shelby in 1998 in Richland, Washington, USA, SSC North America is the American hypercar company that created the Ultimate Aero and Tuatara. The Ultimate Aero, previously held the “Fastest Production Car” record, from 2007-2010, after it clocked 256.14 mph. It still stands among the fastest, most versatile supercars on the planet, and has served as the foundation for what would become the Tuatara hypercar. In 2021, the Tuatara reclaimed the world record for SSC, with an average of 282.9 mph, followed by a second test nineteen months later that achieved a top speed of 295.0 mph. SSC North America is producing 100 road legal SSC Tuatara hypercars, with 25 additional non-road legal variants. High-speed, high-downforce, and track versions are available to customers. For more information visit www.sscnorthamerica.com