Ever since cars were invented, man has been trying to push their limits and make them go as fast as possible. Of course, the land speed record has multiple types and iterations, based on the type of vehicle used and so on. At its most basic, the current land speed record is held by the Thrust SSC, a British jet car which achieved a speed of 763 mph back in October 1997, becoming the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier officially.
It was driven by British Air Force pilot Andy Green, who had also driven the Thrust SSC in September 1997 when it broke the previous land speed record. However, these records are set by custom-made vehicles, with jet engines, which have no bearing or similarity to the everyday vehicles driven by the common man. Thus, it is much more interesting to look at the land speed record for production vehicles, and there is set to be a new attempt at breaking the existing record for this category soon.
Koenigsegg Agera RS Hold Existing Record
The existing record is held by the Koenigsegg Agera RS, which hit a speed of 277.87 mph in 2017. However, there was a new attempt made recently by the SSC Tuatara, which did reach a speed of 316.11 mph before being disqualified later on. There were multiple reasons for this, with the biggest one being that the GPS sensors provided by Dewetron were not calibrated properly by SSC’s engineers, leading to doubts where the same run was producing different speeds when played back on video, as compared to the actual run.
Additionally, the car has not yet been approved for street use and is thus not street legal, leading to it not meeting the requirement for it to be a production car. According to Jerod Shelby, the CEO of SSC, they will attempt to re-run the record soon, and when they do so, he will look to have GPS sensors from multiple companies in the car to ensure that measurements are accurate and that every small detail is taken care of.
Can the Tuatara Beat the Current Record?
The Tuatara is going to be produced in a limited run of just 100 vehicles, but that will be more than enough to classify it as a production and street legal car. However, it will be interesting to see if it can actually go on and beat the record, as analysis on the internet has suggested that the car was only doing around 280 mph, and not the 300+ mph speed that was claimed in the aftermath of the run.
Betting odds are already being readied for this event, with Bet365 vs Paddy Power in the stakes where one believes that the car will not be able to break the record, while the other is offering favourable odds to those who think that will not be the case i.e. it is backing the car to go past the existing mark.
While that remains to be seen, as the date of the new test has not yet been announced, it is worth noting that the car still looked like it had plenty of power left in the tank, while the driver, Oli Webb, is also accomplished at these sort of runs. Thus, the upcoming test run will be a must-watch for land speed fans, especially as it has been nearly three years since the record was broken, even though there have been other attempts, like the Tuatara’s previous one, which have gone past the mark but were disqualified for some reason, with the most famous of those coming last year, where the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ notched 304.77 mph but was disqualified since it was a prototype and not the actual vehicle that went out in production.