It's Official: SSC's Ultimate Aero Speed Record is validated by Guinness World RecordsTM
WEST RICHLAND, WA (10/09/2007)
Guinness World RecordsTM verified today that Shelby SuperCars’ (SSC) Ultimate Aero is officially the "Fastest Production Car" in the world. This is the first time the production speed record title has been held by a United States auto manufacturer since the Ford GT40 claimed the record in 1967. Guinness’ strict testing procedure required the car to drive down the course, turn around, and make a second pass in the opposite direction within one hour. The vehicle’s official "top speed" was then calculated by averaging the top speeds of each pass in order to negate any favorable road or weather conditions. Driver Chuck Bigelow, 71, drove SSC’s Ultimate Aero on a stretch of highway 221, clocking 414.31 kph (257.44 mph) on the first pass and 410.24 kph (254.91 mph) on the second pass to yield an official record speed of 412.28 kph (256.18 mph). From data presented by Dewetron’s world-renowned data acquisition system, Guinness officials verified the official speed to be .52 kph (.32 mph) faster than SSC had originally noted. This breaks the current official record held by the Koenigsegg CCR at 388 kph by 24.28 kph (15.09 mph) and the Bugatti Veyron's unofficial speed of 408.47 kph by 5.84 kph (3.63 mph).
Engineering a production car capable of speeds in excess of 250 mph is truly a significant task. In order to fit the definition of a production car, the vehicle must use pump gas and conform to all DOT/EPA regulations, among which include emissions and safety. These restrictions not only make it difficult but very impressive for production cars to produce such high performance figures. Finding a testing site was another obstacle that SSC encountered, eventually forcing the company to prove their claim on a two-lane road in Washington State's farming country. It has been decades since testing has been conducted on public roads, where factors such as wind and uneven road surfaces add complexities unknown to dedicated test tracks. Although SSC claims the Ultimate Aero's true top speed potential was not reached due to the limited length of road available to accelerate (2.5 miles), they feel that there is no better way to show the true limits of a production car than by testing it on the public roads for which it is intended. Nevertheless, SSC is currently speaking with a media source that is trying to organize a super car event at a very well known testing track overseas.
Jerod Shelby made a statement "Since the Mclaren F1, the Koenigsegg CCR, and the Bugatti Veyron all had a luxury that SSC hasn't had yet, we look forward to the day we can test the Ultimate Aero's true top speed capability in a controlled environment with a near perfect surface, as our predecessors did. We feel that we have safely left 6-10 mph on the table for when that day comes." To put the Ultimate Aero's acceleration into perspective; if the Aero enters the straight at Ehra – Lessien at the same speed the Veyron did, it would have enough room to accelerate to 255 mph, brake to a stop and still have 1.7 miles left of straightaway.
With 1183 bhp and 1094 ft-lbs of torque, the Ultimate Aero produces more emissions-legal horsepower than any other production automobile in the world (another Guinness World RecordTM for which SSC is currently applying). Despite being designed to run at redline for extended periods of time, the Ultimate Aero remains remarkably drivable. The proprietary twin-turbo V8 power plant retains excellent idle characteristics, and thanks to a drag coefficient of just .357, Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel testing calculates the vehicle to be aerodynamically stable to speeds up to 273 mph. Featuring all the amenities found in a luxury sedan, the supple leather/suede interior is highlighted by custom Recaro seats, a 10 speaker premium system, DVD/navigation/backup camera, and a cab-controlled lift that raises the front an extra four inches to navigate road hazards. Shelby SuperCars would like to especially thank Michelin for providing technical support during testing; the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s provided remarkable performance most notability for withstanding many miles at speeds from 200 mph – 257 mph on public roads with little to no wear.
Additionally, this weekend October 14th from 12pm-2pm PST Jerod Shelby will be participating in Microsoft XBOX's Live event and will be racing the SSC Ultimate Aero against all worthy gamers!
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