Many carmakers talk about building “race cars for the road,” and one of the oldest of the bunch is Ultima Sports, a company based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. You may or may not have heard about the British outfit, but it has been around since 1992 when it was founded by Ted Marlow and Richard Marlow.
The company’s latest creation is the Ultima RS, a track car that you can legally drive on the road (at least in the United Kingdom). Headline figures include a top speed just a little past 400 km/h and a zero to 96 km/h (0-60 mph) time of just 2.3 seconds.
Key to this performance is the mid-mounted V8 engine, which is a Chevrolet-sourced LT5 unit that has been tuned to deliver 1,200 hp. The company also offers a less powerful version of the LT5 that serves up “just” 800 hp, as well as LT4 (650 hp) and LT1 (480 hp) engines.
However, going for these options will have an impact on performance, but rest assured that the minimum top speed is at least 290 km/h, while the sprint time is not more than three seconds. If none of the above are of interest, other Chevy V8s like the LS3, LS7 and LSA are also available.
All that power goes to the rear wheels via a Porsche-sourced six-speed manual gearbox, and if you want an PDK option, too bad. As the company puts it, “the PDK system seen on many cars nowadays is not in keeping with the ethos of an Ultima, which was primarily designed to maximize driver engagement and to provide an old school Le Mans inspired thrill like no other road going sports car in the world.”
It goes on to say, “Ww aren’t interested in the dulled down mass market driving experience and therefore the Ultima RS will always be a manual shift supercar to cater for those true driving enthusiasts who appreciate and indeed crave this philosophy.”
Looking at the Ultima RS, you can tell the company means business. Styled with inspiration from Group C Le Mans racers, almost all of the body is made from carbon-fibre and shaped to be as aerodynamic as possible. In fact, all those canards, splitters, vents, gaps, slits and that large rear wing contribute to over 1,000 kg of downforce and a drag coefficient of 0.304.
The body itself is bolted to a spaceframe that is complemented by a roll cage, double wishbone suspension, fully-adjustable coilvers, AP racing brakes (322-mm discs/four-pot calipers or optional 362-mm discs/six-pot calipers) and 19-inch forged alloy wheels (with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 or Pilot Sport 4S tyres). Depending on the selected options, the car tips the scales from 930 kg onwards.
As serious as the Ultima RS is, the company does offer luxuries such as air conditioning, an Alpine infotainment unit with Bluetooth and navigation, a rear view camera, parking sensors, a heated windscreen, pneumatic seat lumbar supports, and a wide range of leather and alcantara trim packages.
There’s even a front ride height lift kit to make it easier to clear certain bumps and bespoke luggage bags of you need more usability. Of course, you can choose to have none of those things if a purer experience is what you’re after.
For an even more personal touch, you can order Ultima RS as a self-assembly kit “for around the same ballpark price as a mundane new BMW M3,” the company says. In this case, the lead-time to prepare the package of parts is currently 22 weeks, but if you want the factory to build the car for you, it’ll cost more and take well over two years. Interested?
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