Volkswagen and its Beetles aside, car companies often think solely in terms of size, power or deadliness when naming their vehicles after animals. From the Buick Wildcat and Ford Mustang to everything that comes off the Jaguar production line, creature-based automobile monikers tend to depend on a mix of muscular brawn and bloodthirsty killer instinct.
Why, then, would Shelby decide to christen its new supercar after a tiny lizard? We’re glad you asked. The Tuatara possesses the fastest-evolving molecular structure in nature; a trait that’s reflected in the cutting-edge bodywork of Shelby’s motor.
“Most manufacturers use the same basic model and body shape for up to 10 years,” says the company’s owner, Jerod Shelby. “But after only three years in production with the Ultimate Aero [Shelby’s previous supercar], the Tuatara is a monumental evolution.” And with its 7-litre V8 twin-turbo 1,331bhp engine, the Tuatara is designed to wrest the title of ‘world’s fastest supercar’ back from Bugatti’s 258mph Veyron Super Sport.
It’s expected to be on the roads by the end of the year. Although, we hope that naming cars after docile creatures doesn’t become a trend. The last thing we need is bull-obsessed Lamborghini to unveil a supercar called Daisy.