Shelby SuperCars confirms plans for Ultimate Aero EV

Posted Wed Jan 21 2009 4:14 PM by James Martinez

SSC Ultimate Aero supercar
SSC claims its batteries take only 10 minutes to charge and have a range of between 150 and 200 miles

Shelby SuperCars (SSC), the American supercar manufacturer behind the world’s fastest production car, the Ultimate Aero, has today confirmed plans to build an all-electric version of the record-breaker. Aptly named the Ultimate Aero EV (Electric Vehicle), the green supercar will begin testing next month and will be first unveiled in the second-quarter.

SSC will be using its Ultimate Aero platform to showcase the technology but insists that the company is planning to produce its green technologies for a wide range of applications, including a wider range of vehicles. SSC's electric powertrain package, named AESP (All-Electric Scalable Powertrain) is unique due to its scalable horsepower, light weight, compact size, quick recharge time and liquid cooling.

The key differentiator to rival technologies is its scalability. SSC plans to use variations of the powertrain in SUV and commercial vehicle platforms, with power outputs expected to range from between 200hp (147kW) and 1,200hp (895kW) – the latter would be reserved for delivery trucks, heavy duty equipment, buses and military vehicles.

The advanced powertrain relies on SSC’s own nanotechnology rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which the company claims is rechargeable in only 10 minutes on a standard 110V outlet and has a 150-200 mile range on a single charge.

The AESP system features twin 3-Phase AC induction electric motors measuring just 13in in diameter and weighing in at just 200lbs (90kg). Despite their small size, the motors in the Ultimate Aero EV demonstration vehicle will churn out a combined 500hp (373kW) and 821lb-ft (1,114Nm) of torque.

If the technology proves successful, SSC will start selling the powertrain to major carmakers, governments, and other businesses. Initial pricing for mass-produced units are $5K-$6K per unit for 1,000 to 10,000 (with further reduction in unit cost for increased production.)

While some of the claims do sound ambitious, SSC has proven that it can achieve lofty goals if it sets out to. Last year we saw the company’s Ultimate Aero TT win the record for the world’s fastest car with a top speed run of 255.83mph (411.76km/h). The story doesn’t end there, as SSC is also gunning for the title of manufacturer of the world’s fastest electric car and plans to contend the challenge later this year.

Gallery: 2009 SSC Ultimate Aero

Reader Comments

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 10:22 AM

    Gus says

    I'd still rather have the Bug.

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 2:12 PM says

    I'm with Gus!!!

    I've never driven either car and most likely never will but hearing waste gates and no driver aides and then tell me its American ingenuity is just bovine manure quite frankly. For that kind of money I want technology, prestiege and an awful lot of history.

    I'll have my Bug as a Sang Noir, please!

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 3:52 PM

    alilua says

    What a awfull car!!!
    Better than Bugatti only Nextgen Bugatti!

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 5:46 PM

    Gus says

    Well, American Inginuity is alive and very well, actually. In fact, when it comes to what I consider one of the ultimate technological works of art in the entire world, no one can even begin to touch it: the F-22 Raptor.

    But, since comparisons are inevitably going to be made between this car and the Bugatti, I would rather have a car that is an automotive equivilant of the F-22, full of technology, safety and performance. Of course strapping on a solid rocket booster is faster, but I doubt it would be a satisfying experience...

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 6:17 PM

    NEal k says

    half the price of a veyron dont trash it plus its American to hell with the Germans

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 7:44 PM says

    Sorry Neal but its a pile of shit and the look of it, I've seen farmers daughters that are more attractive. still with Gus on this.

    As for the Raptor you've got those that came before it too the B-2, Stealth, SR-71, and even put a man on the moon first and we as Americans come up with this as a car to hold the "unofficial" title by the way, pathetic!!

    We can do better and have done so......

    P.S. Its French by the way the Germans just happen to have the cash to do it.

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 8:30 PM

    Gus says

    Exactly. It's not that the Americans CAN'T build something like or better than the Veyron, it's that no car company has had the b**** to put the money into a technological showpiece that, even though it loses money at every sale, becomes the ultimate car just to be the ultimate car...

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 8:51 PM says

    Gus- If we keep having the same opinion like this I'm gonna have to put you on my Christmas card list.

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 9:23 PM

    Guber says

    Lines look awefully similar to the Lamboghini Diablo, American designer going Chinese? Not only is it unimpressive looking, whats with the name, "Ultimate Aero" can't they come up with something more sexy for a half million dollars?

    F-22 & BlackBird Sr-71 America 's greatest enginerering achievement, no arguement.

  • Sun Jul 13 2008 11:49 PM

    InkMaster says

    It may be faster then the Veyron, but man oh man it is uglier. Atleast w/ the Veyron you get jawdropping ex/in - terior - w/ this is just a typical race car inside and out...

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 12:25 AM

    vb says

    Qote:"Its French by the way the Germans just happen to have the cash to do it."

    Well, not really. Bugatti is a French brand and that's about everything the Veyron has to do with French. VW bought Bugatti in 1998, the Veyron was completely engineered and designed by VW employees (whiich are mostly Germans of course). They simply sell it with a Bugatti badge because Bugatti has more sportscar history than VW and you can't sell a million dollar car without one thing, HERITAGE!

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 12:32 AM says

    Thanks VB- My posts re-explained. I'll write with greater clarity next time.

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 1:56 AM

    Canucko says

    I like fast ! and I think it looks kinda cool on the outside. But for that kind of $$...the interior looks a little cheap and poorly designed. This is where other super cars excel and American ones fall down... like the ZR1 and the Vipers. Only the Ford GT has a decent interior that is american that I can think of.

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 3:14 AM

    raptor says

    So what's the point? Anyone can put two Huey jet turbines into a Prius, lower it, equip it with 335 tires and it will do Mach 0,6.

    If they are aiming at Bugatti, they don't know shit about cars. It's like comparing a Ferrari and a dragster. Sure, they will both do 300+ km/h. But only one of them is an artwork, a perfect fusion of technology and design.

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 5:11 AM

    Edward says

    Sorry, the Jaguar XJ220 looked the same. Can't anyone design original models these days?

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 10:38 AM says

    Whats that smell? oh its Edward talking out of his @$$. The XJ220 looks nothing like this and yes I think Keith Helfet is a brilliant designer and the above clowns cant hold a candle against his work.

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 11:02 AM

    Gus says

    But on another note, I think that new Saleen supercar concept is still the best looking of them all (at least on the outside).
    Any word on if/when that one will come out? That, to me, may be the ultimate American supercar, and if properly executed, with refinement and luxury, perhaps even the ultimate supercar, period.

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 12:19 PM

    Stephen says

    I think the point that is being missed here is that the Bugatti is much, much, much, more practical. Now, Jay goes on and on about this car being a "driver's car" which is all good and well but pretty much anyone can make a what is essentially a race car have a ridiculous top speed. All that had to be done was make an engine with just over 1,000 hp (I know I say just but it's really not that big of a feat these days) and have a low enough top and final gear ratio. Even Jay said in this video you might have to pull over for 2 mins to let it cool down (which Jay thought was great because he was comparing it to other supercars which have to cool down for 5 mins or more). Also what happens when this car breaks? Is the "dealer" really going to have someone qualified enough to fix this car? Is this small company going to stock enough spare parts? Now let's consider the Veyron, a very civilized car that won't shout to the cops in the form of blow off valves while your driving along in the city, you're kept very comfortable in the form of climate control from a reputable manufacturer as well as a great multimedia system to keep you entertained while you're stuck in traffic and you know that when you hit the highway with a long enough stretch you can hit 254 without any drama, and cruising at around 200 would be a cakewalk for this car. Plus when you get home and turn the car off you know tomorrow it will start up and take you to work in heavy urban traffic without any problem. Should a problem arise you have the VW group to back you up. The point is the Veyron is a racer that can be used on the street day today and all you need is a key and a 1 person to operate it.

  • Mon Jul 14 2008 8:38 PM

    jeff says

    Jay Leno is so boring. He makes incredible cars boring. Im glad he wont be the host of americas Top Gear show. Although I dont like adam corrola either. The original top gear host, Jeremy Clarkson is funny, and entertaining.

  • Tue Jul 15 2008 7:11 PM

    Stephen says

    I am glad Jay Leno won't be hosting, he can't make anything funny. Give Adam a chance though, he might turn out better than you thought. Besides they'll have Tanner Faust, thats gotta count for something.

  • Tue Jul 15 2008 9:16 PM

    Gus says

    Oh lets not start this argument here.
    If you want to beat that one to death, go to

  • Tue Jul 15 2008 9:18 PM

    Gus says

    I think we can all agree that this is one amazing car, but it's not comparable to the Bugatti.

    But then again, the Bugatti had much more corporate money thrown at it, and if he sells all of these cars for the price he mentions, he'll be rich. Wish I had the b*** and the cash to start my own supercar company... :)

    I look forward to seeing the electric version. Tesla had so many things to work out, so I'm curious how they will solve all their issues.

  • Wed Jul 16 2008 7:44 AM

    burke says

    Guys, let's face it: the SSC Ultimate Aero, another pure American muscle car, is the world fastest car, period. Second place goes to Porsche with its Ruff 9ff, and that's it. The so-called 253mph Bugatty's world's record IS NOT official. And I understand that many of us Americans are never going to forgive the SSC that it doesn't come from overseas or from another planet. I for one can see clearly that the only purpose of the SSC was to set the speed record; and it proved that you don't need a sixteen-cylinder-four-turbos engine with a supertraction control and supercomputer that takes control of your car, whether you like it or not, to achieve it. I for one believe that at speeds over 200mph or at any other speed it is still better to trust your senses than a computer. I can also see that SSC is a small company that is not subsidized by a state, government or another big company like VW. SSC is going to to have to make their way by selling cars, and you should not expect to make a fortune by selling the world's most expensive production supercar (please read $2,500,000 for a Pur Sang Veyron). SSC is doing well though. They can sell you the world's fastest car at a quarter of the price you should pay for a Veyron. Then, if you want, you can start throwing amenities to the SSC like exotic wood trim, etc, etc. and in a couple of minutes you are going to have another million dollar car. And just a couple of seconds to comment about what some of us here in this forum understand by "civilized driving"; and I just have a question for you guys: Dou you really think that driving a two-ton car like the Veyron running on low profile tires is civilized? How fast can you take on a curve with a two-tun car regardless of the tires? Have you ever guys thought in how many times you are going to have to change tires in a year? Dou you really think that 16 cylinders, four turbos, about 16 radiators, and three driving modes are going to have civilized maintenance and repair?

  • Wed Jul 16 2008 12:07 PM

    burke says

    An all electric SSC Aero supercar that could make another world record? I can figure what the SSC car guys have in mind: Beating the TZero electric car: another Guinnes and Forbes record setter that outdrags Vettes, Porches, Vipers, and Ferraris from 0-60. The TZero is still in fact, the fastest electric car in the world today. I would really love to see the SSC racing the TZero and or any other supercar :-)

  • Wed Jul 23 2008 6:03 AM

    lamboguy says

    i'm all the way with Gus.i can name more countries that make better cars than big tough america with their big tubos and superchargers i'm with the italians,germans specialy because i'm german and love german cars also i like this swedish car co. called koenigsegg, i love their cars....but they all look the same i recon, any way if anyone here that reads this, if you find so new lambos or farraris or mabe even some new... lests just say fast cars reply ok LAMBOGUY out!!! P.S. remember i'm still 12!

  • Tue Jul 29 2008 4:48 AM

    Zero says

    burke ,
    SSC Ultimate is not the world fastest car (Thrust SSC is) and it is not in production yet since their last September 2007 run. You said 253 mph is not official because you based that assertion from Guinness Record view. Plenty car magazine including Top Gear have done that electronically limited top speed (mind you), reported how stable the Veyron is that speed and don't give a damn about Guinness Record for top speed. Once you have ridden the Veyron on its top car, it becomes extremely hard to compare it to other top speed from other cars. AFAIK, SSC Aero is akin to a race car based on kit cars model (SSC used to build Lamborghini Diablo replica) and still does not compare to Bugatti Veyron in term of quality of engineering. Afterall, they couldn't beat the latter with only 1050 hp despite the lightweight advantage.

    "Second place goes to Porsche with its Ruff 9ff, and that’s it"
    9ff is not part of RUF, it has its own entity. Technically, it is not a production car and its creator quoted: "I found Bugatti Veyron too perfect, too easy".

    "Dou you really think that driving a two-ton car like the Veyron running on low profile tires is civilized?"
    The Veyron has unique tyres from Michelin designed for street. To give a rhetoric question, do you think a Nissan GTR/Corvette Z06 running on low profile tyres is civilized?

    "How fast can you take on a curve with a two-tun car regardless of the tires? "
    Have you seen Prescott Hills, Top Gear, Fifth Gear etc.? Care to explain Nissan GTR?

    "Have you ever guys thought in how many times you are going to have to change tires in a year?"
    Ask Michelin about their special design of tyres for the Veyron.

    "Dou you really think that 16 cylinders, four turbos, about 16 radiators, and three driving modes are going to have civilized maintenance and repair? "
    10 radiators to be correct ( SSC UATT has 8 according to their website). Be in mind the Veyron uses optical cable optic on most part that can be easily check the mode with a laptop or a pda. You can get the Veyron repair on any VW subdivision and Bugatti will sent their mechanics by air. Don't forget the engine has been thoroughly tested from extreme heat to extreme cold.

    Don't forget Bugatti never intended to make a cheap car in their history.

  • Tue Aug 5 2008 10:24 AM

    Jan says

    Im so tired of hearing how the american muscle cars deliver performance at half the european price.. Well... Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, Koenigsegg.. the list goes on and on... Their biggest market is North America. so clearly there are alot of people out there in USA that want exclusivity, quality and race heritage without caring what it costs.

    Isnt it time USA built proper supercars... There is clearly a market for it and people want to buy american. The new Corvettes are admittedly great performance cars that score well internationally but still.... They roll off the assembly line just like any BMW only with a big engine. They are full of cheap plastic and fiberglass where the european ones are full of technology and carbon fibre. You have the abilityy to make great cars. you just dont do it.

    More power at half the price of the Murchielago is how they market the Corvette.. PRICE isnt where you should compete. the Bugatti costs 2 and a half million dollars. do you think they have had problems selling them ? Not at all. There is even a long waiting list for any future models they might produce.

    And stop counting straight line performance. The new Corvette has 7.3 litre engine and the Viper more than 8. with a mere 500 bhp power output. Thats very low performance compared to the engine size. Sure its fun for a burnout but where is the finesse.

    I wish the americans would build a proper competitive supercar (NOT like the Diablo copies SSC Aero or Saleen S7) with a proper modern design, and then start comparing to us europeans. After all. you agree we build better sportscars.. you are the ones buying half of them.

  • Tue Aug 5 2008 10:27 AM

    Wroomwrom says

    Its a silly myth that Bugatti is losing money on each sale. The 5 million (dollars, Euro ?) production cost for each car is calculated from the fact that it took alot of people several years of production to create this masterpiece. The cluth took 5 years alone apparently.

    Imagine a clutch that can handle 1000 BHP. F1 Clutches are useless because they are gone after 1 race and there is no more than 800 bhp in a F1 car. you need to make something better. something that can last for 20 years.

    Wolkswagen didnt spend all that money simply to make 300 super sportscars for fun. They have now established themselves as the most exclusive car manufactorer in the world with only 1 model on the market. Other companies may spend 20-30-40 years to achieve that status. They will no doubt capitalize massively on this with future models. They have already started showing topless versions and new future Bugatti plans.

    As for the SSC aero. To bolt together an ugly 1990s Diablo copy with a huge engine and send it down a straight line to beat the world record does nothing for me. Only a fraction of the SSCs made will have the full power of the record holder. whereas in the case of Bugatti. Every one of the 300 cars built will be able to do the 410 kmt run. Just like every Koenigsegg and every Ferrari is delivered with its full potential intact.

    Nobody in their right minds would buy the SSC car instead of a Bugatti, Ferrari, Murchielago, Koenigsegg.. the list is long. And besides.. the insignificant record will soon be broken again. This time by the 1018 bhp swedish Koenigsegg CCXR running on bio ethanol.

    The bugatti is the best car in the world now just like the Mclaren F1 was in 1995 and just like the Mclaren it will be a legend long into the future while the SSC will be forgotten.

  • Thu Aug 7 2008 8:47 AM

    balls2you says

    You people that say money doesn't matter in the comparison of a car are ignorant as shit. My 07' Chevy Silverado is a pretty stupid comparison to a 09' Cadillac Escalade, a BMW 335I is a stupid comparison to a BMW 735I. The point is and if you are not a child, you can see that the comparison is not apples to apples. If you use a little common sense, you will see that the reason that the comparison is so far off, is because of what? MONEY, VALUE, BOTTOM LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not expect a $700,000 car to be as pristine, and luxurious as a $1,600,000 car. Think about it. A $2,000,000 Prevost motorcoach is going to be alot better ride, than a VW Microbus. DUH!

  • Thu Aug 7 2008 10:10 AM

    balls2you says

    Also, if anyone can build a "supercar" that can go 255 miles per hour, and drive to the grocery store on Pump fuel of 93 octane or less, and repeat it many times, you are a freakin genius. What is this deal with calling it a straight liner anyways. Is everyone such a pansy, that they need a car to think and steer or brake for them. Call it un-civilized, but us knuckle dragging Americans still like to drive the car and sometimes have it drive us. That is why this car is being marketed in the U.S. You never know, and I probably won't either, but this might be the best cornering, auto cross vehicle of all time. It is by the way, a handbuilt car! By the way. A Ferarri is not the #1 car for comfort that I could think o,f to pick to drive accross the country.

  • Tue Sep 9 2008 8:24 PM

    Zero says

    "Is everyone such a pansy, that they need a car to think and steer or brake for them. Call it un-civilized, but us knuckle dragging Americans still like to drive the car and sometimes have it drive us."
    Isn''t that macho to ignore a basis security stuff? Even hardcore drivers can make mistake.

    " That is why this car is being marketed in the U.S. You never know, and I probably won’t either, but this might be the best cornering, auto cross vehicle of all time."
    SSC Aero TT is not fon public road. Without driving assistance, it needs high level of driving skill no different than a race car.

    " It is by the way, a handbuilt car! By the way."
    Kit cars ar hand built too. The quality is more important.

    " A Ferarri is not the #1 car for comfort that I could think o,f to pick to drive accross the country. "
    Which Ferrari are you talking about? 599 Fiorano, 612 Scaglietti?

  • Yesterday, 8:43 AM

    danDAN says

    the Maclaren F1 had an unofficial top speed of 260+ with the rev limiter taken off and a different gear ratio, it was unofficial because it wasn't verified by the Guinness World Record and because it was a non-production specification of the car

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