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Tuatara hypercar sets new record for world's fastest car at more than 500km/h

A new racer has claimed the title of the world's fastest car and it shares the same name as an endangered New Zealand species.

The SSC Tuatara hit a world speed record in Nevada, US. Source: Supplied

But there aren't too many other similarities between the SSC Tuatara and the New Zealand version.

While the animal tuatara are known for their slow and often immobile nature, the new car hit speeds of more than 500 km/h in its road test in Nevada, US.

Racing driver Oliver Webb, who controlled the vehicle for the record attempt, reckons the car had more juice in it.

"And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster," he said in a press statement today.

"As I told Jerod [Shelby, SSC chief executive], the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realising the car’s limit."

In the high-speed test run, the hypercar reaches 484.53km/h before turning around and hitting 532.93km/h going the other way.

Between the two runs, the SSC Tuatara averaged a top speed of 508.73km/h, setting a new world record.

SSC says there were officials on-site to verify the world record criteria were met.

"We came pretty close to meeting the theoretical numbers, which is astonishing to do in a real world setting on a public road," chief executive Jerod Shelby says.

The SSC Tuatara also set new world records for fastest flying mile on a public road (503.92km/h), fastest flying kilometre on a public road (517.16km/h) and highest speed achieved of a public road (532.93km/h).

According to Business Insider, only 100 models of the car will be built, with a base price of NZ$2.4 million.