November 4, 2017
Koenigsegg made highest top speed for a production vehicle with an Agera RS recording an average speed of 447.19 km/h (277.87 mph).
October 10, 2020
On this Saturday morning, with Oliver Webb behind the wheel, SSC North America attempt to break the production car speed record. The event happens outside of Las Vegas near Pahrump, Nevada along a seven-mile stretch of State Route 160. The same road used by Koenigsegg in 2017.
October 19, 2020
SSC North America published a press release claiming the title of the “Fastest Production Vehicle“.
Webb pushed the SSC Tuatara to an average speed of 316.11 mph (508.73 km/h) following two consecutive high-speed test runs of 301.07 mph (484.53 km/h) and 331.15 mph (532.93 km/h). In accordance with record criteria, the Tuatara traveled in opposite directions, clocking its speeds within one hour, to break the world record for “Fastest Production Vehicle.”
The same day, Top Gear (14:01:25 UTC) and Driven Plus (18:40:49 UTC) published a video from the record run on their respective YouTube channel.
October 21, 2020
Oliver Webb confirmed being on 6th gear while supposedly breaking the top speed record. The SC Tuatara has a 7-speed CIMA automated manual. Listen at 3:24 in the following video.
So yeah, we actually didn’t even get into seventh gearOliver Webb
October 23, 2020
Koenigsegg Registry published a video (made by Kaare Byberg) on their YouTube channel comparing the SSC Tuatara (2020) and the Koenigsegg Agera RS (2017) onboard video. It clearly shows the SSC Tuatara to be slower than the Koenigsegg Agera RS.
October 26, 2020
Tim Burton aka Shmee150 on YouTube published a video explaining how the video from SSC doesn’t match the overlaid telemetry. In his video:
- Tim takes the time to explain that he is unbiased, that he’s neutral regarding the various car brands. He is not even in the market for those 300+ mph cars.
- Top speed world records matter because it sells cars. Those customers want to own the fastest car.
- He sets the context between the video from Koenigsegg in 2017 versus the one from SSC in 2020 since both record runs have been done in the exact same location near Las Vegas.
- First calculation: On Google Maps, Tim calculate the distance between the two median crossing (an opening in the median to do a U-turn). In the video he checks the time it took the Tuatara to go from one median crossing to the other. He can then calculate the average speed of the Tuatara in this particular section where the top speed supposedly happens. The result: 179.7mph.
1. The video is slowed down.
2. Telemetry data is not correct, both on the overlay and on the laptop sitting on the passenger seat. We can’t see the speedometer since it’s blurred out.
- Second calculation: Tim proceeds to the same calculation but this time between the second and the third median crossing. Same kind of results, the Tuatara always go faster than the average speed which is a mathematic impossibility.
- Third calculation: Tim is using the painted lines dividing the left and right lane. In the US, on this type of road, those lines are always 10 foot of white line for 30 foot of gap. And Tim gets the same results, the car is slower than what the telemetry is showing.
- Tim shows us the famous video comparing the Koenigsegg Agera RS and the SSC Tuatara. The fact that the Agera RS arrives first the the second median crossing even if the telemetry is showing a faster speed for the Tuatara. It makes no sense.
- Another element, even if the speedometer is blurred out, we can still read it and when the car reach 331mph on the overlay and the laptop, the speedo is displaying 301mph. But a production road car can never under-read on the speedometer, it’s a law in the US, Europe and everywhere else. It must always display a higher speed. Maybe it’s under-reading since it is not a final production car but for Tim, it added a layer of confusion.
- Last point explained by Tim, the gear box. With this CIMA transmission, in sixth gear, the car could reach a maximum of 293mph.
Koenigsegg Agera RS 271.19mph in 5th Oct 2017
Average run speed of 277.9mph
Slower run SE, faster run NW of 284.55mph
SSC Tuatara 331.15mph on 10th Oct 2020
Average run speed of 316.1mph
Faster run SE, slower run NW of 301.07mph
Start to 1st median
Distance: 1.69km / 1.05m
Time: 38.18s = 99.5mph avg
1st to 2nd median
Distance: 1.81km / 1.13m
Time: 22.64s = 179.7mph avg
Entry at 192mph, exit at 307mph
2nd to 3rd median
Distance: 2.28km / 1.42m
Time: 28.24s including a pause
Pause is 3:82
Total time: 24.40s = 209.5mph avg
Entry at 307mph, exit at 242mph
1st to 3rd
Total excluding the pause is 47.39s = 195mph
Entry at 194mph, exit at 242mph, 331mph along the way
October 27, 2020
14:31:24 UTC – Misha Charoudin and Robert Mitchell published a more in dept analysis with data tables and graphics.
The same day (October 27, 2020), SSC North America published a press release titled “DEWETRON Validates SSC Tuatara Record Top Speed“:
DEWETRON, a globally respected GPS data-measurement manufacturer, has validated SSC North America’s claim that its Tuatara hypercar had averaged a top-speed run of 316.11mph (508.73 km/h) as recorded on October 10, 2020 near Pahrump, Nevada. That average speed was determined based on two runs, of 301.07 mph (484.53 km/h) and 331.15 mph (532.93 km/h), traveling in opposite directions.
The same day (October 27, 2020), MotorTrend published an article titled “Dump Controversy Erupts Over “Faked” World’s Fastest Car Speed Record, SSC Claps Back“. Since then, the title and the content has changed. New title: Controversy Erupts Over “Faked” World’s Fastest Car Speed Record.
Here’s the content of the original article by Alex Kierstein from MotorTrend:
A few days ago, SSC told the world that its Tuatara had achieved something remarkable: A road-legal, production car that crushed the Koenigsegg Agera RS‘s top-speed record on a (closed) public road. The numbers are staggering: an average of 316.11 mph derived from two runs, one of 301 mph and one of 331 mph. SSC’s previous car, the Ultimate Aero, also held a top speed record for few years before Bugatti snatched it back—but despite this, SSC is still a small company, and there are doubters.
A prominent YouTuber’s conspiratorial Reddit thread earlier this week cast doubts on the run’s validity, based on an analysis of certain aspects of the published video—counting the elapsed time between a few points, comparing it to the Agera RS’s run over the same stretch of road, and noting that the speedometer doesn’t seem to match the overlaid data. But what this video doesn’t rely on is the actual telemetry—it’s an analysis of a video. SSC isn’t using the published video to validate its claims with Guinness World Records.
That brings us to today’s news. Dewetron, a GPS data analysis company with a fair bit of experience in validating top speed record runs, has gone over the SSC Tuatara’s data and claims its 316.11-mph record run is indeed valid. The company says its equipment has been used to confirm four out of the five previous record runs before the Tuatara’s, including for the Ultimate Aero. We haven’t independently verified the data, but this is a company with skin in the game, and professionals whose reputations are on the line. It’ll take more than a bit of YouTube sleuthing to second-guess their GPS data—and, we should mention, GPS systems are more than accurate enough to precisely verify the speeds of this run. And then, of course, Guinness World Records will examine the data and perhaps certify it as a valid world record.
For whatever production car top speed records are worth-a subject worthy of debate, for sure-this one seems to be on the up and up, with established organizations putting their reputations on the line. Case closed.
October 28, 2020
Deweytron puslished an official press release titled “The official statement by DEWETRON to any world record attempts of SSC Tuatara“:
Therefore, we again want to highlight that DEWETRON neither approved nor validated any test results. No DEWETRON employee was present during the record attempt or its preparations.
The same day (October 28, 2020), SSC North America published a press release titled “Jerod Shelby Explains World Record“.
The good news: we did it, and the numbers are indeed on our side.
The bad news: only after the fact did we realize that the depiction of the speed run, in video form, had been substantially incorrect.
21:57:24 UTC – Tim Burton, Misha Charoudin and Robert Mitchell published a discussion about the MotorTrend article (Dump Controversy Erupts Over “Faked” World’s Fastest Car Speed Record, SSC Claps Back) and other topics related to the controversy.
October 30, 2020
01:57:40 UTC – SSC North America Founder and CEO shares a personal statement regarding the speculation around the SSC Tuatara top speed record run conducted on October 10, 2020 in Nevada.
October 31, 2020
04:05:05 UTC – Misha Charoudin response to Jerod Shelby video:
7:16:54 UTC – Robert Mitchell response to Jerod Shelby video:
22:30:01 UTC – Tim Burton response to Jerod Shelby video:
November 1, 2020
17:23:55 UTC – Julian Thomas, founder of Racelogic, made a very interesting and detailed video about the SSC Tuatara speed run video.
November 2, 2020
A question from Hennessey Performance to SSC North America.