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Shelby Supercars: It's The Tuatara

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On: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 8:52AM | By: Chris Weiss

Shelby Supercars: It's The Tuatara

If we didn't know any better, we'd swear that the name 'Tuatara' belonged to some exotic, Italian brand. Pagani, for instance. 'Tuatara' and 'Huayra' look like natural supercar stable mates. But, we do know better, and despite the exotic name from across the ocean, the Tuatara is all-American at heart. It's the official name of Shelby Supercars' second car.

Ultimate Aero II would have been a little more simple and direct, but SSC's latest car is far more exotic than its original. It differs vastly in terms of look and design, so it's not surprising that the company went far more exotic in its naming. 'Tuatara' (said Twu-tar-ah) comes from Maori name for a New Zealand lizard, as described by SSC. The lizard supposedly has the fastest-evolving DNA of any animal, and one look at the Tuatara car shows that it too has evolved drastically in a short time—from the all-business/no-looks supercar that captured the world record in 2007 to the dynamic, captivating car that stands before us today. Yes, "Tuatara" is definitely more appropriate than "Ultimate Aero II."

The name is an excellent fit; in terms of the lizard 'Tuatara' translates into "peaks on the back," which suits the SSC quite well given its dual rear winglets.

Jerod Shelby explains: "Most manufacturers essentially use the same basic model and body shape for up to 10 years, while only making small refinements to it each year. After only three years in production with the Ultimate Aero, SSC's Tuatara is about to monumentally evolve in the areas of sophistication, design, aerodynamics and shear all-around performance. We felt that the fastest evolving DNA was a perfect definition of SSC's latest project."

No new information on the Tuatara, but we already know the most important parts. The car uses a 1,350-hp twin-turbo 7.0-liter V-8 engine and choice of 7-speed manual or 7-speed paddle-shift transmissions. It weighs a mere 2,600 lbs. and promises up to 275 mph of raw, unforgiving speed.

You can see the full story behind the Tuatara name in the video clip below:

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



dwalter | 10:15AM (Wed, Jul 20, 2011)

Seems like a fitting name. Now I want to see it doing 275 mph.


RoadKill | 4:19PM (Wed, Jul 20, 2011)

I want more!

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