• Jul 15, 2008
Click above for a gallery of high-res images of the SSC Ultimate Aero TT.

Green performance cars are the new darlings of today's small crop of boutique auto builders. From the Tesla Roadster to the Fisker Karma, and now, the new Ultimate Aero EV. The easiest way for the little guys to attract big attention is to make attractive, high performance cars with green credentials. So, it's with a grain of salt that we bring you news of the aforementioned electric hyper coupe from Shelby SuperCars. Considering that the supercar manufacturer claims that its battery will not require a charge "for six years" (should we proclaim them early favorites for McCain's battery prize?), powering dual, five-hundred horsepower electric motors, the whole thing sounds more than a bit fishy. It deserves noting that the battery technology doesn't exist to support those claims and, while five-hundred horsies can indeed be extracted from an electric motor, that would have to be one big honkin' motor... and they plan on using two in their EV. Guiness World Record for the fastest car? Check. Really big EV aspirations? Double Check. And now, it's time for a reality check.


[Source: Shelby SuperCars]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      First things first: SSC needs to hire some automotive designers. I'm not contesting its performance or engineering quality, but it looks like high schooler's sketch of a Lamborghini Diablo or a bad kit car inspired by the same. Also, am I the only one who is sick of pointless and hyper dollar supercars? I bet most of these things would be little fun to drive on the street, and serve little purpose other than to tell thw world about one's stupid amounts of disposable income. I'm more impressed by a Fiat Abarth 500 or a Mini Cooper S.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You may want to contest that engineering acumen; that car's about as advanced as an 80's kit car. Chromolly tube frame, no abs, not traction control; just a big, turbo-charged motor in a light car. So what if its the "World's fastest production car" (I bet they have their Guiness certificate framed). Does top speed matter in an era where even Vette's are posting 200+mph top speeds? Show me some 'Ring times and an elegant design. Anyone can build a fast car; very few can build a very fast, very pretty, and very comfortable car.

        I've got a scoop for Autoblog. I'm building an EV. Its going to have a top speed of 320 mph, 2000 hp motors in all four wheels, and is powered by a Mr. Fushion. Press release imminent.
        • 6 Years Ago
        All modern super cars or cars that seem to cost an extodinate amount of money are space frames. I havent seen the frame of this car but if its a space frame than its the same thing that Lamborghini and even the corvette uses.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SSC Ultimate Aero dethroned a Bugatti Veyron, in September last year, when it reached the maximum speed of 411 km/h. So what are we talking about? Go go SSC gadget. :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      IDKKKKKK. They did back up their talk with the UltimateAero surprisingly. Definitely need to step it up with the design department
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've got that beat; a car that goes 200 mph for 2000 miles powered by the fizz of a single 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke.

      Investors, please send your checks to my address in Brazil, and don't bother me with requests for updates on development progress. I'll be much too busy, but I'll contact you when I need more money.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Clearly you stole your idea from me. Investors, pay no attention to this man. Send your checks (questions free) Zimbabwe. Blackbird, get ready to be sued!
      • 6 Years Ago
      They can do this. They're quite capable of making a solid car that goes very quickly. All you need is to source the right components (presumably they'd get another company to provide electris engine parts, rather than a normal engine). They can obviously do all the other stuff required already- like making a complete, quality car with a capable chassis etc. What they really need for the record is better aerodynamics and/or more power than the current fastest electric car. Guessig that that's the Tesla, which is fairly small- stick a huge electric lump in the SSC and that should do it!
      • 6 Years Ago
      To all the people bitching about the styling:

      The car is designed to be stable at 270+ MPH, and to have the lowest possible coefficient of drag. No its not going to win any beauty contests, but its not designed to. It is designed to go fast, and it does that very well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Aero owns witches with the B
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...will not require a charge 'for six years'..."

      The only way I can read that is to assume that they mean it won't take six years to recharge it... not that you can drive it for six years before needing a recharge.

      Maybe that's their way of boasting that it'll only take one year to recharge :-/
        • 6 Years Ago
        I didn't think they were being literal - I pictured it as being said as a tongue-in-cheek jab at other EVs that need 16 hour recharges.

        I was being sarcastic of my own accord when I said the thing about taking one year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Check out www.jaylenosgarage.com for his review of the SSC. Sick car!! Whoever wrote the article obviously mistook the work change (as in 6 years to change the battery) for the word charge.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jeremy got it exactly right. And as he stated, they've since changed their site (within the last 24 hours, apparently, as they were claiming "6 years" as early as last night).
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, he didn't mistake "change" for "charge". That's what the SSC site said. They have now changed it, and claim that the power source could go "several years" without charging:

        "The drive train under development will feature a revolutionary power source allowing for extended time between charging intervals with the possibility of several years between CHARGING."
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Unlike other manufacturers’ models slated for delivery in the next decade, Shelby’s latest brainchild expects to be delivered as early as fourth quarter 2009. Other automakers have sacrificed aesthetics and performance in exchange for hybrid power plants, but the Ultimate Aero EV will deliver a pollution-free, engineering marvel with an exotic Supercar exterior. The drive train under development will feature a revolutionary power source allowing for extended time between charging intervals with the possibility of several years between charging. Powered by a 500 horsepower electric motor, the Ultimate Aero EV will have true supercar performance. Additionally, SSC is exploring the potential of a twin 500 horsepower electric powerplant producing 1,000 horsepower in a 2 or 4 wheel drive configuration."

        Though that last paragraph has been rewritten since we posted this story this evening, it still clearly claims "possibility of several years between charging." Before it said it would not need charging for six years.

        They are also now claiming it could use a single 500 horse motor with a second one optional.

        Now even more skeptical.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Jeremy Korzeniewski

        Sounds more like they are talking about getting a battery pack fully charged and then even after leaving it a couple of years it won't lose much charge or at least won't be completely empty. As I mentioned, nobody measures battery capacity by years, it's usually by kWh, amp-hrs, or miles. If they are talking about years, then it's likely the situation I first described.

        Remember even the 1000lb battery in the Tesla Roadster contains only around 2 gallons of gasoline's worth of energy (really speaks to the efficiency of an EV doesn't it?)

        Even a gasoline car can't operate a few years on a single tank without refueling. Is SSC including "Mr. Fusion" with the car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This car company would be much more successful if their cars didn't look like they were built in 1995. (The headlights especially)
        • 6 Years Ago
        What's wrong with 1995?
      • 6 Years Ago
      NEW CARS ARE NOT GREEN. PERIOD.

      Making already existing cars last as long as possible to reduce demand for newer vehicles IS green. Maintain your car well, and drive the snot out of it. This 'green' movement by producing more new crap is NOT eco-friendly!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooN9INJxxy4
        • 6 Years Ago
        Did I say stop buying new cars? No. I just said that new cars AREN'T GREEN. Neither is 'new anything', unless it's made from pretty much found objects, or some other very efficient method.

        I'm not saying you have to be green either, Mr. Whynot. I'm just saying we should call a spade a spade, instead of fluffing things up into things that they aren't. NEW CARS, are not green. That's all I've said.
        • 6 Years Ago
        New anything is not green period. Vintage, you'd better not buy a new computer ever. Cause it's not green. Even driving the car you have isn't green.

        Your absolutism is boring.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Here's a new green car right here:

        http://flickr.com/photos/steve-brandon/2380070461/
        • 6 Years Ago
        OMG, I can't believe I am going to do this. Thats TWICE today we agree. This green crap needs to stop. People need to be honest about what they are doing. Simply use less. That includes when things that damage the environment even when they are affordable, like fuel.

        That said, I love this car and went to the article to see a timeline expecting 2015 or some crap, they are talking potentially 4th quarter 2009. Thats right, about 14 months from now, we should know where they are at. I again wonder aloud why so many smaller companies have these vehicles out while the big companies in some cases are lacking a plan. My hope is they simply got caught with their pants down, after all what auto manufacturer would have believed anyone wanted an electric car 2-3 years ago? Prius sales back that up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Beh, that's if the older car is actually green, which I doubt it is. It's been established ~80% of the energy used in the lifecycle of a car is from operation. Driving a car is very energy intensive (you are moving thousands of pounds of weight to transport, most of time, just one person).

        Telling Americans to never buy new cars has as much chance at succeeding as telling everyone to ride bikes and use (& build, for the places without it) public transit (which would likely be even more eco-friendly in the long run). Under this situation the next logical step is to improve the cleanliness of operation for new cars, since people are going to buy new cars no matter what.
        All you are really proposing is for companies to stop improving their new cars. The video you posted is of no real use b/c at the start it already established it had NO credibility ("paid for by a guy in a writing class").

        A couple of points on the article:
        Like how Johnny noticed I think the 6 years is the lifespan of the battery not how long the charge will last. Common sense should tell you this b/c since when do we measure battery capacity by years (if you never drive it for the 6 years this would already skew the results :P).

        Another thing is "while five-hundred horsies can indeed be extracted from an electric motor, that would have to be one big honkin' motor"

        Not really. The Tesla's motor (now capable of 300+hp, and last I heard the true number is ~320bhp) is only 70lbs and the size of a watermelon. A 500bhp capable motor shouldn't be that much bigger. More rides on whether the battery pack is sufficiently large enough or has enough power density to supply 1000bhp total to the motors (with the newest batteries it shouldn't be a problem given a bunch of batteries were annouced with 5x, even 20x the power density of current laptop cells used in the Tesla roadster). The bulk of a weight in an EV is the batteries.

        http://www.autotrader.co.uk/EDITORIAL/car_page_content/33845.html

        Though I doubt SSC has the ability to do this, as a car enthusiast, I would welcome a Veyron beating supercar EV.
      • 6 Years Ago
      5 bucks says they do it. You'd be amazed what you can accomplish in a small company nowadays. Less people = Less BS. Just make sure you have smart people, and it seems as if SSC has exactly that.

      And to those griping about the design...are you kidding? Look at one in person and you'll change your tune fast. Yeah, it's Diablo-esque, but since when did the Diablo suck? I applaud the Ultimate Aero, and I applaud Jerod Shelby. I'll start the negative criticism as soon as I start my own automotive company.
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