Face-off: SSC Tuatara vs Bugatti Veyron SS

The challenge

It's no ordinary fight - it’s about the coveted title of the fastest supercar between two giant automakers - American company Shelby SuperCars Inc.(SSC) and Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. with German pioneer, Volkswagen group, as the parent company. The competition has taken a leap since Bugatti Veyron Super Sport reclaimed its title of the fastest car in the world, beating the Ultimate Aero by SSC. The latter earlier enjoyed the title by pushing Bugatti Veyron's 987 bhp in 2007 aside. And SSC is now back with a vengeance to reclaim the throne with Tuatara (Ultimate Aero II), the latest supercar on the block.

SSC Tuatara and Bugatti Veyron SS
SSC Tuatara and Bugatti Veyron SS

SSC Tuatara

Jerod Shelby, founder and CEO of SSC, unveiled the Tuatara, whose name is derived from the Maori language which means peaks of the back. The car was inspired by a modern-day reptile from New Zealand. The classic shape allows minimum drag and and dihedral stabilizers or wings add to the glam quotient. The body and chassis are made of carbon fiber, barring the front and rear impact areas. The various sized oval cutouts to release heat produced by the engine and an F-1 looking exhaust as a diffuser in the rear, is more than enough to make this challenger for the title of fastest car grand and intimidating.

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The Veyron Super Sport is made out of a single-pieced carbon fiber monocoque, lessening the chances of passengers getting injured during crashes. The PAX system ensures safe handling and specially designed tires guard against sudden pressure loss. A cool feature is the rear spoiler that acts as an emergency brake during high speeds.

Comparison attribute: Engine

SSC Tuatara: It is the result of skills put together by Shelby and his team of 16 engineers to produce a high performance vehicle highlighting rear wheel drive with a 1350 horsepower speedster. It has four valves per cylinder, a twin turbo V8 engine and revs up to 9000rpm. There is traction control in the braking system and with 2646 lbs (1200 kg) curb weight, it is 1407lbs (638kg) lighter than the Veyron.

Bugatti Veyron: In comparison, the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport has four turbochargers and larger intercoolers to boost the power of the 16-cylinder engine to 1200 hp at a rate of 6400rpm. While each cylinder has four valves, the V8 configuration allows you to use only two overhead cams to drive two cylinders so just four cams are required.

Winner : SSC Tuatara

Comparison attribute: Top speed and 0-60mph sprint time

The SSC Tuatara made its debut in Shanghai, China, and intends to reclaim the distinction of the fastest car in the world with a record setting 275mph while the current reigning Veyron SS clocked the record at 267mph. The Tuatara can speed up from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, increasing expectations from the supercar. However, the Veyron tops the Tuatara in sprint time, being able to go from 0 top 60 in 2.5 seconds.

Winner : SSC Tuatara in speed and Bugatti Veyron in sprint time.

Comparison attribute: Power & torque

The SSC Tuatara has been claimed to generate 1350 horsepower and a torque of 1112 ft-lbs.

Bugatti Veyron has a power boost of 1200hp and a torque of 1106 lb-ft.

Winner : SSC Tuatara

Comparison attribute: Fuel economy

Bugatti Veyron: On city streets fuel economy is 9.6 mpg and on highways it is 16 mpg.

SSC Tuatara: On city streets it gives 19 mpg while on highways it would give up to 26 mpg.

Winner : SSC Tuatara

Comparison attribute: Price

With an expected price of $970,000, the Tuatara is way cheaper than the Veyron SS which comes at a staggering $2.5 million.

Winner : SSC Tuatara

The Verdict

In the sphere of supercars, there is very limited space for competition. But the good news is that there are now international choices available with SSC Tuatara from the United States, Bugatti Veyron SS from Germany and also the Swedish Koenigsegg Agera. For the moment, however, the intensified battle between the Tuatara and Veyron SS seems to be won by the supercar with the fastest DNA - SSC Tuatara.

© 2012, Automotto. Some rights reserved.