Electrified SSC Tuatara to have AWD, first Striker to debut at 2022 Quail

SSC’s looking toward an electrified era.

After the company’s Tuatara hypercar hit a confirmed 295 mph earlier this month, SSC CEO and founder Jerod Shelby sat down with Motor Authority and revealed an electrified Tuatara is in the works.

The electrified model will have a small production run and not be part of the 125 Tuataras (including 25 Tuatara Aggressor track cars) set to be produced by the end of 2025.

SSC Tuatara record run

SSC Tuatara record run

Development has already begun, though Shelby wasn’t read to talk a production timeline but said it is completely independent of the non-electrified Tuatara’s production timeline.

Shelby said the electrified model will have electric front hub motors, which will make the new version of Tuatara all-wheel drive (the current models are rear-wheel drive).

At this point Shelby said it hasn’t been decided if the electrified model will bear the Tuatara nameplate.

First production SSC Tuatara

First production SSC Tuatara

“The electrification of the car will make it a more well-rounded vehicle,” Shelby said. The addition of electrification won’t be for top speed, but will enhance other areas of the vehicle’s dynamics including acceleration, trackability, and other lower-speed characteristics.

Shelby also revealed that the first Tuatara Striker will be unveiled in August at The Quail. The Striker set to be unveiled was purchased by a celebrity, though Shelby wouldn’t comment on who the buyer is, yet.

The Tuatara Stiker is a high-downforce version of the regular Tuatara and is essentially a body kit upgrade, as opposed to a standalone model. The upgraded aerodynamics include a fixed rear wing augmenting the Tuatara’s active rear wing, plus a revised diffuser. The front features a new splitter design, dive planes, and the sides feature six vaned rockers.

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

Striker models feature 1,000 lb of downforce at 160 mph. Standard Tuatara’s have 362 lb of downforce at the same speed, according to SSC. The design puts 45.4% of the downforce on the front axle with 54.6% placed on the rear.

Shelby would not comment how many of 125 Tuatara build slots have been spoken for to date.

SSC is also planning a new, much larger production facility that will be operational around 2025. It will be used for a second model which Shelby described as a “little brother” to the Tuatara. A location wasn’t mentioned but it may be close to the Richland, Washington, facility where the Tuatara is built.

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