The word ‘Tuatara’ has a special meaning to any kiwi, it’s a small native lizard that we never really see around, especially now the 5 cent coin is gone. We never associate the word Tuatara with an American-built supercar, that’s ridiculous right? Well, not anymore.
In the latest act of cultural borrowing, U.S-based carmaker Shelby Supercars has named its latest creation the ‘Tuatara’. Just some sort of conincidence? Not at all, company founder Jarod Shelby says in the video below that his Tuatara was inspired by the New Zealand reptile that bears the same name. The Tuatara was chosen because it’s a unique creature that possesses the fastest evolving DNA of any animal on the planet. Also the word ‘Tuatara’ means in Maori “peaks on the back”, and the Shelby supercar has a uniquely styled rear wing.
“The design specifications for the Next Generation SSC were so extreme; we knew early on that a proper name would be a key piece of the puzzle for this project,” Shelby said in a statement.
However you feel about the Tuatara name being used, at least it’s on a worthy machine. Designed by Jason Castriota, the SSC Tuatara is an absolute monster. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 7.0-litre V8 powerplant which generates around 1,006kW (1,350-hp), which is sent to the rear wheels through a 7-Speed manual gearbox or optionally, a 7-Speed SMG Paddle Shift sequential auto. (more…)