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Is SSC Tuatara's 300+-MPH Speed Record Fake? Company Says It Was an Honest Video Error

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 10/28/2020 The Editors
a group of people standing around a motorcycle: Faced with controversy that the video of the feat looked wrong, the company says it was an editing mistake and vows to clear it up with a revised version. © SSC Faced with controversy that the video of the feat looked wrong, the company says it was an editing mistake and vows to clear it up with a revised version.
  • On October 10, the Shelby Supercars (SSC) Tuatara claimed a world production-car record with a 316.11-mph average speed.
  • The Tuatara's quickest run was 331.15 mph—but its veracity was questioned on YouTube and other social media by people who thought the videos shown were misleading.
  • Video producers who shot footage of the SSC Tuatara hitting 331 mph made a mistake, the company says, and it will release a revised video soon.

On the day of the record-setting 331-mph run in the Shelby Supercars Tuatara, Driven Studios—a video production team that partnered with SSC to document the build and top speed test of the Tuatara—had multiple cameras onsite: in the car, on the ground, and even in a chase chopper.

In the aftermath of the run, two edited videos were released depicting the run, one from the cockpit and one containing additional "B-roll," silent footage for use in news stories. Unfortunately, the video from the cockpit had significant errors in the depiction of the car's speed that were uncovered and interpreted by hypercar fans online. What’s more, the team released two different versions of this inaccurate video.

YouTube video personality Shmee150 was one of those questioning what was shown in the video:

Replay Video

The company whose equipment measured the event, Dewetron, issued a statement today saying it "did not validate any data from world record attempts or preceding tests. Nobody of Dewetron's employees was present during the test drive or involved in the associated preparations." However, the statement went on to acknowledge that "SSC uses the company’s test and measurement system–just like many other customers worldwide."

Research

SSC's Explanation

SSC founder Jerod Shelby issued a statement in response to the controversy. "Somehow, there was a mixup on the editing side, and I regret to admit that the SSC team hadn’t double checked the accuracy of the video before it was released," he said.

SSC maintains that it did complete the record-setting runs at the speeds attested, and that they have all of the relevant documentation from a suite of 15 satellite sensors as well as from independent witnesses, all of which they will submit to Guinness for certification. "The good news: we did it, and the numbers are indeed on our side," Shelby says. "The bad news: only after the fact did we realize that the depiction of the speed run, in video form, had been substantially incorrect."

Shelby continues: "While we had never intended for the video captured to play the role of legitimizing the run, we are regretful that the videos shared were not an accurate representation of what happened on October 10," he says. "Driven Studios does have extensive footage of everything that transpired and is working with SSC to release the actual footage in its simplest form. We’ll share that as soon as it’s available."

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