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SSC Ultimate Aero set to go after "world's fastest car" title

How fast is fast enough? How important are bragging rights when you're trying to sell a supercar? Because, let's face it, the difference between 73 mph and 273 mph is kind of academic. Even if it's proven your car can go that fast, there are very few situations where that extra 200 mph would be usable, especially outside of a track environment. Now don't get us wrong, we love these high speed shootouts as much as the next gearhead, but all they really accomplish are earning a spot on some list and selling more cars, if that's your game. SSC, the company that brought us the Diablo-esque Aero a few years ago, is one such player.

They've sold a few of their All-American Aeros over the years and haven't had many complaints. As if the "regular" Aero weren't powerful enough, they upped the ante in 2006 with the Ultimate Aero. Instead of the supercharged, 787 bhp, 6.2-litre V8 engine, they fitted a a higher boost supercharger and got a Veyron-topping 1,046 bhp. Still not content, the 2007 Ultimate Aero picked up a "Turbo" badge and a few more horses as well. Now producing 1,183 bhp, the Turbo becomes the most powerful emissions-legal production automobile in the world. Where the original Aero promised a top speed of 240 mph, the new Ultimate has had a few weight saving touches to go with its power upgrade and its top end has risen to a projected 273 mph. We've previously heard outrageous claims from many supercar makers over the years, but this is a whopper.

Well, it looks like it's put up or shut up time for Jerod Shelby (no relation to Carroll) and the gang at SSC. On March 21st, they are set to prove their claims. And to show that this is indeed a street car, they will be doing their test on a 12-mile stretch of Nevada's Highway 93 in Elko County. The immediate goal is to officially beat the 253 mph top speed of the current world's fastest car, the Bugatti Veyron. But the team really hopes to set the bar a lot higher and stay on the books a bit longer. Before the Veyron, the Callaway Sledgehammer had hit 254 mph, but it wasn't deemed a production vehicle. It was the slightly modified McLaren F1 that had held the official record for more than 10 years until the Koenigsegg CCX topped it. Soon after, the Veyron came out and used an extra 300+ hp to eclipse the F1 top speed by a full 12 mph. If SSC can hit 273, only the new biofueled Koenigsegg CCXR and Saleen S7 tt Competition (each with more than 1,000 hp) might come close. Oh how we'd love to be there for a Veyron/SSC/S7/CCXR/F1/Sledgehammer smackdown. We'll let you know how the test goes.

[Source: SSC via Rideroom]

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