Illustration for article titled Snow Day: SSC Ultimate Aero TT Not As Ugly As We Thought

Here's a picture of the actual Ultimate Aero TT that attempted to break the Veyron's "production car" top speed record but "only" achieved 230mph due to snow and bad roads in Nevada. Which is weird, because if you drive from Los Angeles to Vegas on Interstate 15 – which we may have done once or twice – you notice that on the California side it is a pitted, pot-holed two-lane mess but that the second you cross into bat country Nevada, gambling revenues convert the I-15 into the most perfectly paved, 4-lane mega-highway in all the desert. And it's 115 degrees. Oh, the car. Decked out in carbon-fiber-gray and black the Aero TT looks, dare I say, pretty good. A hell of a lot better than the blue and white iteration that the Postfather so wisely dubbed "dated." No, this car is a very modern pastiche of Murcielago, Zonda, S7 and Koenigseggeggeggeggeggegg with a little bit of Veyron up front for flavor. Full press release once you jump.


Press release:

American supercar company SSC successfully concluded the first round of high-speed testing on Thursday, March 22nd in its quest to break the world production speed record. Despite encountering some unforeseen obstacles, the Ultimate Aero TT ended the session with a 230mph pass at just 56% throttle in 6th gear.


SSC was forced to move to an alternate location after the original 12 mile high-speed testing site was hit by an unanticipated snowstorm. An inspection of an alternate site, located 30 miles north at a lower elevation, revealed that just 2 of the 9 miles set aside by the Nevada Department of Transportation were usable. Dips, cracks, and an exaggerated road crown on the 2 lane highway rendered the other 7 miles unsuitable for high speeds.

The testing session confirmed the stability that the Ultimate Aero TT demonstrated at NASA's Langely wind tunnel, which had previously shown the car stable up to speeds of 273 mph. During Thursday's session, test equipment verified that front to rear downforce percentages and drag coefficients were well within the engineering specifications set by the figures posted at Langely.

SSC made successive 220 mph passes throughout the day and culminated with a 230 mph run just before the 2pm road closure deadline. A laser speed trap positioned 440ft before the 2 mile marker confirmed the speeds. SSC test driver Rick Doria stated that the 1183 hp Ultimate Aero TT had "a lot more to go" at 230 mph and was confident that the remaining power and proper road conditions would propel the car past the Bugatti Veyron's 253 mph top speed record.

The crew spent the remainder of the afternoon scouting potential sites for the next round of testing. Though SSC hopes to run the second session within the next 2 weeks, their participation at Top Marques Monaco may delay the second test until after the event.


Updates and additional information are available on SSC's website,

Back to the Wind Tunnel: SSC Falls Short of Speed Record; More: Thrust! SSC to Go After Production Car Speed Record; More: Future Classic Top Gear: Captain Slow Goes 407.4 Kilometers Per Hour! [Internal]


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