Everything was naive at first. I noticed something on a race track, which led to me getting a group email that concluded, "Yes, yes, great car, great specs, etc. Now you can't give it away to an Italian to make him less ugly?"
The big car in question is the new Ultima RS. Indeed, it is a very good car, even if it is also terribly simple.
The company says the Ultima RS is the crowning achievement of their 35 years and the finest expression of their core DNA.
What's the story behind the Ultima RS?
For the track and the street
Sit down and buckle up
rocket on wheels
To put this into perspective...
Perfect for that midlife crisis< p>Technical specifications of the Ultima RS:
Carbon fiber wing
Steering and suspension
Ultima RS Gallery
What's the story behind the Ultima RS?
Ultima as an automotive company has been around for quite some time. In 1983 automotive engineer and designer Lee Noble established Noble Motorsport Ltd and launched the Ultima Mk1. The Ultima Mk1 had a square tube space frame chassis, along with Ford Cortina and Renault front brakes and rear brake steering.
The V6 engine and transmission came from a Renault 30. If you had a subscription to Kitcars and Specials magazine at the time, you would have seen the Ultima Mk1 in its pages.
In 1998, the future Ultima GTR underwent tests at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA). By 2014, the company will produce the GTR's replacement, the Ultima Can-Am. However, by 2015, the Ultima Evolution replaces them both with the company's most advanced technology to date. A year later, sales would expand to 65 countries.
Also, they are in the Forza Motorsport games and they were instrumental in the development of the McLaren F1.
The Ultima RS is the most thorough and comprehensive revision of the road-legal Ultima supercar. Photo: Damian Hock.
For The Track & Street
The cars made by Ultima are more or less track cars. However, the Ultima RS is as street legal as a Honda Civic. This explains the optional Alpine entertainment system with satellite navigation and Bluetooth, as well as the air conditioning option.
“We have gone to great lengths to design the new Ultima RS to be considered road legal. in many countries, which is an extremely time-consuming and skilled task compared to simply manufacturing a track-only car,” reads the company’s website. "The beauty and ethos of the Ultima is that it can be enjoyed immensely on public roads at reasonable speeds as well as on a racetrack where it can deliver blazingly fast lap times."
But Land-o-Goshen, looks like those things fell from the ugly tree and hit a bunch of branches on the way down. But let's put those concerns aside for now, because the view from inside the new Ultima RS must be sublimely terrifying.
Ultima RS interior layout. Photo: Damian Hock.
Sit Down & Strap In
The interior, while we're on the subject, is about the size of a flipped phone booth on its back. You're fully pampered with a sturdy roll cage and targeted dials and a custom seat and all that, but really, you're just crammed into a loud, glorious little space that's about 0.2 seconds from the au -of the. I'm not saying – and let me be clear about this – saying this car is going to kill you. Oh no, quite the contrary. I say your skills as a driver will not be enough to save you. There is quite a difference.
What makes me say that? The powertrain, for example.
Rocket Ship On Wheels
In the case of the Ultima RS, it would be the latest direct-injected Chevrolet V8 LT1 engine, developing 480 hp. Which, given that the RS is only 13.5 feet long, about six feet wide, and literally waist-high (3.6 feet); and the whole thing tips the scales at a featherweight 2,050lbs, which means the performance is staggering.
Zero to 60 in three seconds flat, a quarter mile as fast as a superbike (11.2 seconds at 131 mph, top speed over 180; praise Shiva this thing has no cra- . . . oh , wait, I'm really sorry.
These performance numbers for the LT1-powered Ultima RS are for the bottom of the line; the entry-level model, the starter pack, if you will. It goes up from there. Well, well above the performance numbers just the other side of full-fledged race cars and just that side of listening to harp music.
The top-of-the-line engine choice is a Chevy supercharged LT5 mill that puts out a staggering 1,200 hp. Yes, it's more than a current Indy car and more than a current F1 car. Yes, it's more than a current Nascar. Ultima Sports Ltd. apparently has no problem making them, selling them, and handing them out to anyone with the money. Here's a car that's capable of... (checks the numbers). . . Oh . . . Oh my . . .
Look at this!
Zero to 100km/h: 2.3 seconds; zero to 100 mph: 4.8 seconds; quarter-mile standing: 9.2 seconds at 156 mph. And finally, top speed: 250 mph and up (limited gear).
The Ultima RS is available with a “delete X Pipe interchangeable muffler” for those who want a “really thunderous” V8 soundtrack. Photo: Damian Hock.
To put this into perspective. . .
An Indy car does zero to 60 in about 2.2 seconds. A Suzuki Hayabusa does the shift in 9.3 and it's a fucking motorcycle! The Ultima RS is . . . is faster than most other products and its only limitation is gearing? Seriously, no kidding, spec-wise this thing is as fast as an Indy car and it has a license plate on it. I decided to build one in Forza. I couldn't get up to 1200bhp (only in the mid-900s), and I could barely keep the thing on the road.
Just imagine how it must look like in real life.
Perfect for that midlife crisis
I changed my mind. This is perhaps the most beautiful car on the planet. Shoot, you're going to move too fast for people to see you anyway. I swear, this thing is probably generating its own redshift at this point. Now I only have questions. Dirty and ugly questions. Like, can I fit into the thing? Can my bank account handle it? Is my last will in order?
A few of the car's specs are below, with the full list here in the FAQ section. I have to go lie down and think now. And I should call my therapist. And my priest. Also my minister and a rabbi I know. Shoot, you better call that undertaker too, just in case.
Tony Borroz has spent his whole life racing vintage cars and sports cars. He is the author of
Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle.
Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.
Technical specifications of the Ultima RS:
Satin black lacquer.
Fully welded 45mm CDS roll cage with welded rear reinforcements.
Updated space-frame using mostly 38mm x 1.5mm diameter tubing.
The roof scoop option is a Le Mans style design to provide more efficient engine cooling.
Unpainted GRP, finished in a gel coat using the latest advances in pigment technology.
Carbon fiber elements include front and side splitters, dive boards, brake ducts and wheel arch vents.
Carbon fiber wing
Nine different angle of attack adjustment positions.
Gooseneck mounts transfer downforce directly to the chassis.
Steering & Suspension
Hydraulic front ride height lift kit option.
Quick-ratio steering rack - 2.1 turns lock-to-lock.
Fully adjustable coil spring and custom shock absorbers.
TIG welded wishbones, double unequal lengths with extended front wishbones.
Braking bias adjustable from front to back. All stainless steel TUV pipes.
Standard: AP 322mm curved paddle vented discs all around with 4-pot calipers.
Optional: Larger mounting of 362mm x 32mm all-round curved paddle discs with 6-piston calipers.
Michelin 19′′ Pilot Sport Cup 2 and Pilot Sport 4S options.
Interior< p>Air conditioning.
Ultima RS brand luggage bag set.
Steering wheel mounted wireless switch.
Carpet for floor and rear bulkhead with colour-coded piping option.
Alcantara leather seats with new eyelets to accommodate 75mm seat belts.
Ultima RS Gallery
Photo and photo source: Ultima Sports Ltd.