It’s one of the UK’s lesser-known sports car makers, but Ultima has a long history of producing some of the most unhinged cars on the planet. Its latest machine is this Ultima RS and the lunacy has gone off the scale.
For this is car that can have as much as 1,200bhp. In a package that weighs about a ton. And the only traction control is the pair of gigantic rear tyres and the driver’s right foot.
So it’s hardly surprising that Ultima is claiming a 0-60mph time of 2.3secs, a standing quarter-mile time of 9.2secs and a top speed on the far side of 250mph. The company already has a long run of production car speed records and hopes the RS will add significantly to the tally.
That 1,200bhp comes from a heavily tuned, supercharged Chevrolet LT5 V8 motor. In standard form it produces 800bhp. Other engine options include 480bhp LT1 and 650bhp LT4 units. But because it’s so light, the RS will never be less than ferociously fast whichever engine you choose. A Porsche-sourced, six-speed manual gearbox is the only option across the board.
It should have the handling to back up the speed, too. The Group C Le Mans car looks are backed up by underpinnings designed on the same principles as those legendary racers, with a spaceframe chassis and fully-adjustable, custom suspension.
There’s proper aero, with a chassis-mounted front splitter, dive planes, vortex generators, a huge rear diffuser and a top-mounted rear wing. The bodywork is moulded in glassfibre-reinforced plastic and the aero addenda is rendered in carbonfibre.
The brakes are suitably huge. The standard stoppers are 322mm discs with four-piston calipers – a set of monster 362mm rotors are optional. So equipped, the RS will stop from 100mph in 3.3secs – crashing into a wall wouldn’t stop it much quicker.
The RS rolls on custom-made 19in wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres.
Inside, there’s just about enough space for two. It can be specced up with aircon and satnav, and LED headlights are a useful touch. Be don’t think the RS will be usable on the commute. This is, first and foremost, a pretty ferocious track car with just the bare essentials needed for road-going legality.
Not that it’s road legal everywhere.
The Ultima RS is on sale now for an unspecified, likely fairly hefty, price.
By Graham King