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947kW for 'world's fastest car'

2008-12-19 13:13
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer SSC
Model Ultimate Aero
Engine 6.35l, pushrod, 16v V8 supercharged
Power 947kW @ 6 075r/min
Torque 1 507Nm @ 6 150r/min
Transmission Six-speed
Weight 1247kg
Tyres Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
Front Suspension Double-wishbones, Penske adjustable coil-over shocks
Rear Suspension Double-wishbones, Penske adjustable coil-over shocks
When you share a last name with Texan racing legend Carroll Shelby, your supercar company better be very good.

America’s supercar hero, built to defend top speed bragging rights against the likes of Bugatti’s Veyron, is the Shelby super cars (SSC) Ultimate Aero. Built by SSC (owner Jerod Shelby, no relation of Carroll) the Ultimate Aero runs a 413-km/h top speed.

Obviously such vast dynamic potential restricts the styling aesthetics to be pretty much utilitarian – the Aero is wedge shaped and not a thing of great beauty.

For 2009, the all-aluminium V8 continues the great American pushrod tradition, managing to supercharge 947kW from a swept capacity of 6.35l – up from 882kW. SSC says the newfangled power should enable the Aero to make an attempt to break the 434km/h barrier.

Broaching the 400km/h barrier is a source of great pride to the American auto industry – currently in turmoil.

Featuring improved aerodynamics, an air brake and to keep engine operating temperatures optimal, those odd looking carbon-fibre side louvres now channel additional airflow to the radiators, small changes, but at speeds beyond 400km/h the details are key. Aiding the air brake are a set of 355mm discs all-round clamped by six-piston calipers.

Interior revisions include a new gauge cluster (you’d hardly notice as tunnel vision becomes the all purveying perspective at over 400km/h) and tire pressure monitor, which should give you a nanosecond worth of warning before a sudden deflation at 413km/h ensures an earlier than expected life insurance claim.

At $620 000 the 2009 model year Ultimate Aero is hardly cheap, and though its execution may be garish, the bragging rights are beyond doubt.


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