With the automotive world rocked by the SSC Tuatara’s record-breaking run during October 2020, YouTuber Shmee 150 has raised a number of doubts about the credibility of their record.
Land speed records are nothing new – ever since the dawn of the motor car, drivers have been competing to go faster and faster in an all-out race to beat each other’s top speeds.
With competitors Bugatti having set the previous production car speed record of 304.77mph in a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, SSC has now obliterated their record… or have they?
Top Gear announces SSC Tuatara speed record
When BBC’s Top Gear announced the breaking news that the SSC Tuatara had broken the production car speed records, the automotive world went into pandemonium. To break any speed record is an incredible achievement, but to do so by such a massive margin is almost unheard of.
The record attempt itself was also unusual in that it was carried out on a stretch of public road. A closed-off section of dead-straight road near Las Vegas provided the setting, totaling seven miles long.
Unfortunately for SSC and potentially for Top Gear, a number of popular online personalities and journalists have now called out SSC, claiming that the record is “fake.”
SSC World Record run controversy
YouTuber Shmee150 has been one such journalist, and put out a very convincing video debunking the record attempt on October 26.
The first major issue that he identified is that the tires on the Tuatara were allegedly ‘stock’ tires. Since they were not made specifically for the record attempt (to the best of his knowledge) they would’ve been rated for a significantly lower speed than 300+ mph.
Shmee then goes further to discuss the timings between set points on the route. By calculating the distance covered and the time it took for the Tuatara to cover that distance, he was able to work out a rough average speed.
SSC Footage slowed down?
Unfortunately, the speed between the first and second point that he highlighted is significantly different to that shown by the on-board footage that Top Gear released. According to his calculations, either the onboard footage was slowed down “by around 30%” for some reason, or the figures shown are totally wrong.
He also points out that the dashboard was obscured in the first-person view footage, despite the fact the reading should’ve mirrored that of the telemetry. As Shmee points out, the car is always going faster than the calculated average speed, which is a “mathematical impossibility.. you can’t dispute [it].”
By Shmee’s calculations, the Tuatara only reached a peak speed of “around 280 miles an hour”. Given that the original video was a Top Gear exclusive, it will be interesting to see how this situation develops.