SSC Ultimate Aero II
The SSC Ultimate Aero is an American-built mid-engine supercar by Shelby SuperCars. The higher-performance limited production version, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT produces more emissions-legal horsepower than any other production automobile in the world and previously held the Guinness book of world records record for being the fastest production car in the world (succeeded by the 2010 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport), with a recorded speed of 412.28 km/h (256.18 mph). This speed was achieved during tests on September 13, 2007 West Richland, Washington, United States and verified by Guinness World Records on October 9, 2007. This speed however does not reflect the Ultimate Aero TT’s full potential. SSC estimates that the newer, more powerful and lighter weight 2009 Ultimate Aero TT is capable of a top speed of over 270 mph (430 km/h). The SSC Ultimate Aero does not have electronic aids such as ABS brakes or traction control because (to quote Jerod Shelby) “Early design philosophy on the car was to make it a drivers car. I wanted a car that you not only throttled with your right foot but at times you could steer with your right foot.”.
The Aero and the Shelby SuperCars company are the brainchildren of Jerod Shelby (no relation to retired racing driver and sportscar builder Carroll Shelby), who started out building exotic “replicars” including a Fiero-based Ferrari F355 replica and a Lamborghini Diablo replica based on a spaceframe which later was used in the Ultimate Aero prototype. Jerod later moved from building replicas to designing his first Supercar and after seven years it finally began to take shape. Although the basic Aero model is no longer produced, the Ultimate Aero is still in production with an MSRP of around $650,000.
|Body style||2-seat Berlinetta|
|Layout||Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Engine||6.34 litre 387.2 cu in V8|
|Length||4,470 mm (176.0 in)|
|Width||2,080 mm (81.9 in)|
|Height||1,090 mm (42.9 in)|
|Curb weight||1,292 kg (2,848 lb)|
Ultimate Aero EV
SSC announced the production of the Ultimate Aero EV, an electrical version of the sports car. The released specifications include using 500 horsepower (373 kW) electric motor, with SSC also exploring the potential of using 2 engines in 2 or 4 wheel drive configuration. The SSC, once in production, will be the fastest electric car on the market. “I think we can do it faster, leaner and cleaner than any other manufacturer,” claims the SSC founder, Jerod Shelby. SSC planned to produce its first prototype in February 2009, with production to begin as early as Q4 of 2009.
As part of the production plan, SSC also announced it had contracted with Sheffield International Finance Corporation to initiate the company’s first acceptance of outside capital since its inception.
SSC announced electric powertrain and Ultimate Aero EV specifications. “SSC will display its AESP in the Ultimate Aero EV in order to prove that electric-powered vehicles will not only match but also provide more linear power … and overall performance than internal combustion cars. The Ultimate Aero EV uses a twin motor AESP producing an astounding 1,000 hp (746 kW) and 800 lb·ft (1,100 N·m) of torque enabling it to rocket to 60 mph (97 km/h) in a mere 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h). Not only does the Ultimate Aero EV have a range of 150–200 miles on a single charge, but SSC’s “Charge on the Run” onboard charging system allows for full battery recharges in as little as 10 minutes. Mind you, this is not the solution for perpetual motion.”
SSC tested the top speed capability of the Ultimate Aero TT on March 22, 2007. The original test was scheduled for March 21, 2007 but was called off due to bad weather conditions. SSC closed down a 12-mile (19 km) stretch of U.S. Route 93 in Nevada for the event. Their goal was to replace the Bugatti Veyron as the fastest production car ever produced, which at the time could achieve 253.7 mph (408.3 km/h). Simulation and testing at NASA’s Virginia facility had shown that the Ultimate Aero TT is theoretically capable of approximately 273 mph (439 km/h). The March 22nd attempt failed to break the record, due to sub-optimal conditions. Test driver Rick Doria reported “wheel-spin” at speeds above 190 mph (310 km/h). Despite the failure of the attempt, the car still reached 389 km/h (242 mph).
SSC announced they had broken the speed record for the world’s fastest production car with 412.28 km/h (256.18 mph) in West Richland, WA on September 13, 2007. The reported record speed came from an average of two runs in opposite directions, in accordance with FIA Speed Records rules. The first run clocked 414.31 km/h (257.44 mph) and the return trip 410.24 km/h (254.91 mph). The results of this test, verified by Guinness World Records on October 9, 2007, gave the SSC Ultimate Aero the title of world’s fastest production car, with a top speed of 412.28 km/h (256.18 mph). This beat the previous record holder, the Bugatti Veyron, that had a top speed of 253.81 mph (408.47 km/h). However, the Super Sport version of the Veyron has since reclaimed the title.
In addition to the fastest production car record, SSC also applied for the world record for the highest horsepower for an emissions-legal production automobile.
The record-breaking 2007 Shelby SuperCars Ultimate Aero Chassis #TT-02 was later put into auction by Shelby SuperCars, which also included SSC World Record commemorative watch, key fob, original record-breaking wheels and tires, framed official Guinness World Records certificate with commemorative photo signed by Shelby SuperCars team.
The car’s record was broken on July 4, 2010 by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which reached a certified top speed of 431.072 km/h (267.86 mph).