In a world of extraordinarily expensive and super-exotic hypercars, small UK-based firm Ultima presents a less pricey way of going stupidly fast. It’s been kicking out V8-powered supercars in kit form for three decades now, all of them sticking to the same disarmingly simple theme.
The latest one, the RS, doesn’t stray too far from the tried and tested Ultima recipe, although it does introduce luxuries that aren’t on the Evo - like a tinted glass and pneumatic lumbar supports, available along with existing options like a heated windscreen and sat-nav. This thing has ‘daily driver’ written all over it.
We suspect you’re more interested in the new bits that make the Ultima RS quicker, and worry not, there are many. It has the same basic shape as the old one, but the body features a new front splitter, dive planes, wheel arch vents all round, vortex generators and rear diffuser.
NACA ducts are liberally spread over the RS, while at the back, there’s a massive new carbonfibre wing with nine levels of adjustability. It hangs on motorsport-style ‘swan neck’ mounts.
The body panels are made from glass fibre-reinforced plastic, with the front and rear clamshells reprofiled to fit new 19-inch wheels. The new rims can be shod in either Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s or PS4 S tyres.
There are double wishbones front and rear, plus dampers that are bump, rebound and height adjustable. Keeping everything together is a “fully updated” tubular space frame.
All of this amounts to something that doesn’t weigh an awful lot. The figure will vary depending on the spec you go for, but you’re generally looking at around 930kg.
That’s important, as even if you go for the base version with a 480bhp GM LT1 V8 crate engine, the power-to-weight ratio will be spectacular. That should be pokey enough for most, but you can instead opt for a 650bhp LT4, an 800bhp LT5, or even an upgraded version of the latter with 1200bhp.
Now seems like a good time to mention that electronic driver aids aren’t on the menu. Nope, not even ABS. There aren’t any fancy dual-clutch or race-spec sequential gearboxes available either - every RS will be sold with a six-speed manual gearbox. Ultima says that its cars are “primarily designed to maximize driver engagement and to provide an old school Le Mans inspired thrill”. Nothing other than three pedals and a shift lever will provide that, as far as it’s concerned.
Performance figures for the full 1200bhp dose of Ultima madness haven’t been released, but we do know that the 800bhp does 0-60mph in 2.3 seconds and 0-100mph in 4.8, on to a top speed of 250mph limited by the gearing. Even the entry-level car will do 100mph in 6.2 seconds.
There’s no mention of prices, which in any case will vary wildly depending on the chosen options. However, the Leicester-based company does say it’s possible to self-build an Ultima RS “for around the same ballpark price as a mundane new BMW M3”. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, even if the statement seems a little harsh on the poor M3.
If you’d prefer, turnkey versions can factory-built to “special order.”