The SSC Tuatara was the world’s fastest car by a long shot. Then it wasn’t. Then it was again … by a much skinnier margin. Now SSC is taking a break from the screaming straightaways in a bid to prove that the world’s fastest car is more than a runway rocket. It’s launched two new Tuatara editions tuned specially for the twists and turns of the track. The Striker and Aggressor add serious aerodynamics to the Tuatara’s mass of twin-turbo V8 power, boosting downforce and track handling.
SSC calls the new models a “lateral expansion,” so they aren’t designed to be flagship grades of the world’s fastest car so much as honed track variants meant to spit out record lap times. Inspired by multipurpose striker (strike fighter) aircraft, the Tuatara Striker is designed to be equally at home on road or track. It shares the base Tuatara’s 1,750-hp twin-turbo V8 and robotized seven-speed manual transmission but triples up on downforce, delivering up to 1,100 lb (500 kg) spread across the car at 160 mph (257 km/h).
From the rear view, the Striker loses the Tuatara’s signature winglets in favor of a high-downforce fixed wing. Below, it also includes an active rear wing, vertical stabilizer and huge rear diffuser. Moving forward, the Striker’s aero kit encompasses directionally vaned side rockers, frontal dive planes and a front splitter. The front and rear additions combine to balance downforce, with 45.4 percent directed to the front axle and 54.6 percent to the rear axle, improving overall balance, stability and handling.