Shelby SuperCars TuataraEnlarge Photo
Speaking with West Richland’s Tri-City Herald, Shelby said funding problems had caused a delay—the ground-breaking for the site took place more than a year ago—but have since been resolved. The plant will have about 40,000 square feet and will be responsible for producing up to 30 supercars per year eventually, if SSC is successful. That will be no easy feat considering SSC’s last car, the Ultimate Aero, only saw 15 examples built over three years.
The Ultimate Aero was built at a conglomerate of plants in Arizona, California and Washington, but SSC is keen to have the Tuatara built under the one roof. The new factory will have all the tools necessary, including a dyno. SSC also plans to have its headquarters located at the plant, along with a showroom and small museum.
Once the plant is ready, SSC is predicting a six-month test assembly process before production of the first customer cars can begin, meaning we’re unlikely to see Tuataras delivered until late in 2015 or possibly 2016. Shelby says SSC already has a number of orders for the Tuatara, which retails for $1.3 million.
SSC is hoping to build other cars once Tuatara production is underway, and the company is still hopeful of launching an electric supercar. Shelby said he’s wanted to build an electric supercar for four years but has been waiting for battery technology to improve. The Tuatara will be powered by a custom twin-turbocharged V-8 engine capable of delivering 1,350 horsepower and 1,280 pound-feet of torque on regular pump gas. The car should accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds and keep going until it reaches somewhere close to 276 mph.