There is nothing remotely subtle or sophisticated about the Ultimate Aero. It is simply the fastest production road car in the world — yes, really! An all-American supercar that will appeal to testosterone-fuelled speed freaks everywhere.
SSC stands for Shelby SuperCars, a company founded in 1999 by Jerod Shelby, who sounds as though he should be connected to renowned racing driver and entrepreneur Carroll Shelby but is in fact no relation. But Jerod, like Carroll, is one of that fanatical breed of maverick designers who, starting with little but a fixation on cars and endless self-belief, succeed in pipping the big corporate manufacturers to the post in pursuit of their ambition.
The prototype of the Aero was unveiled in 2004 and the first cars went into production in 2006. Built of carbon fibre and titanium for lightness with scissor doors and a supercharged V8 mid-engine, the Aero was manufactured in two versions — a basic model that went pretty fast and a more powerful Ultimate that went even faster.
The following year the basic model was phased out while the Ultimate Aero was given a twin-turbo engine that produced an incredible 1,183 bhp and 1,094 ft lbs of torque making it the most powerful production car in the world. The first one off the production line was auctioned on eBay, selling for $431,100.
Guinness World Records gave the SSC Ultimate Aero the title of the world’s fastest production car in August 2007. Jerod hasn’t looked back. For 2008 he gave his Ultimate Aero an all-aluminium engine block and even more power. He claims that the new 2009 model has yet another 15% added to bhp and is theoretically capable of speeds above 284 mph (457 km/h). He seems intent on hanging on to his record.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
6.35 l (387 cid) V8
Top speed of 256 mph (412 km/h);0-60 mph (97km/h) in 2.78 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Shelby is working on the production of an Ultimate Aero EV (Electric Vehicle) to tap into the green market.