Automotive

The new Ultima RS hypercar: 1200 horsepower and 250 mph for drivers on a budget

The new Ultima RS hypercar: 12...
The Ultima RS is a 250 mph hypercar you can own for less than some sports cars
The Ultima RS is a 250 mph hypercar you can own for less than some sports cars
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The Ultima RS cabin is all business
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The Ultima RS cabin is all business
Yes, it's road legal. Ultima even claims it should make a nice little tourer when it's not ripping your face off.
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Yes, it's road legal. Ultima even claims it should make a nice little tourer when it's not ripping your face off.
Ultima RS: A Le Mans Group C inspired machine for the road and track
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Ultima RS: A Le Mans Group C inspired machine for the road and track
Ultima RS: Rear-mount engine can be one of a huge list of options from the Chevy crate catalog
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Ultima RS: Rear-mount engine can be one of a huge list of options from the Chevy crate catalog
Ultima RS transparent cutaway
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Ultima RS transparent cutaway
Ultima RS: Insanely lightweight and powerful
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Ultima RS: Insanely lightweight and powerful
Ultima RS: Top-down view with bodywork removed and the RS's half-doors open
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Ultima RS: Top-down view with bodywork removed and the RS's half-doors open
Ultima RS: The top-spec Chevy crate engine can be tuned to produce more than 1200 horsepower
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Ultima RS: The top-spec Chevy crate engine can be tuned to produce more than 1200 horsepower
Ultima RS: A "thunderous" stainless steel exhaust option is available
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Ultima RS: A "thunderous" stainless steel exhaust option is available
Ultima RS: Lightweight forged 19-inch rims
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Ultima RS: Lightweight forged 19-inch rims
Ultima RS: Carbon mirrors
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Ultima RS: Carbon mirrors
Ultima RS: No luxuries in the cabin - how's that gear shift lever?
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Ultima RS: No luxuries in the cabin - how's that gear shift lever?
Ultima RS: Hydraulic lift kit is available if you're planning on driving it on public roads
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Ultima RS: Hydraulic lift kit is available if you're planning on driving it on public roads
Ultima RS: Half-doors give limited access to the cabin
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Ultima RS: Half-doors give limited access to the cabin
Ultima RS: Pop up the bodywork for the petrolhead money shot
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Ultima RS: Pop up the bodywork for the petrolhead money shot
Ultima RS: A range of giant V8 engines includes several Euro-6 compliant options
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Ultima RS: A range of giant V8 engines includes several Euro-6 compliant options
LED lighting
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LED lighting
Ultima RS brake options include an in-house custom system capable of slowing you from 100 mph to zero in 3.3 seconds
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Ultima RS brake options include an in-house custom system capable of slowing you from 100 mph to zero in 3.3 seconds
Ultima RS: Front wheels
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Ultima RS: Front wheels
Ultima RS: So much on this car - from the brakes to suspension and rims - is in-house and custom built
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Ultima RS: So much on this car - from the brakes to suspension and rims - is in-house and custom built
Ultima RS: Rear view
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Ultima RS: Rear view
Ultima RS: Top view
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Ultima RS: Top view
Ultima RS: Speed holes. Those are speed holes.
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Ultima RS: Speed holes. Those are speed holes.
Ultima RS: Front view shows why a hydraulic lift kit might be a handy addition
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Ultima RS: Front view shows why a hydraulic lift kit might be a handy addition
Ultima RS: Roof-mounted intake scoop
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Ultima RS: Roof-mounted intake scoop
Ultima RS: Brutal diffusers at the rear
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Ultima RS: Brutal diffusers at the rear
Ultima RS: Plenty of carbon aero add-ons are available
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Ultima RS: Plenty of carbon aero add-ons are available
Ultima RS: Ultra-light and super-fast
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Ultima RS: Ultra-light and super-fast
The Ultima RS is a 250 mph hypercar you can own for less than some sports cars
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The Ultima RS is a 250 mph hypercar you can own for less than some sports cars

The new top dog Ultima hypercar can compete with multi-million dollar dream machines on nearly every performance metric – despite the fact that it costs a fraction of what they do, and offers a totally "analog" manual-shift driving experience for absolute purists. We love it.

British boutique supercar manufacturer Ultima has made a habit of not messing about. The last of its cars we covered was 2015's Evolution, a thousand-horsepower, Le Mans-inspired tire-torture device with a weight figure of just 950 kg (2,094 lb) that made it one of the hardest-accelerating machines in the world, hitting 60 mph (98 km/h) in a Tesla-like 2.3 seconds and 100 mph (161 km/h) in 4.9 seconds.

The new Ultima RS manages to add 200-odd horsepower thanks to a harder state of tune on its top option – a supercharged Chevy LT5 V8, pulling "over 1200" ponies. It also manages to drop 20 kilos (44 lb) from its tube-frame chassis and carbon-everything bodywork for a ludicrous final weight figure of 930 kg (2050 lb).

Ultima RS: Pop up the bodywork for the petrolhead money shot
Ultima RS: Pop up the bodywork for the petrolhead money shot

The performance figures, however, hardly budge. Tire-to-road traction on those rear wheels can only pull so hard, and this thing runs a six-speed Porsche manual gearbox, so you'll have to make do with the same 2.3 seconds for 0-60 mph and just a tenth faster to 100 mph at 4.8 seconds.

Top speed is somewhere over 250 mph (402 km/h), and will depend more on gearing than anything else. Performance specs become pretty academic when you start making these kinds of figures – they're up there with the absolute icons in the hypercar stratosphere, where only multi-million dollar dream machines from Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Pagani, Hennessey and the like dare to soar.

The Ultima RS, however, can be yours as an assembly project kit for a price "around the same ballpark price as a mundane new BMW M3, depending on options selected." This puts it at somewhere around the US$120,000 mark, in its lowest state of tune, which still makes a very decent 430 horsepower, hitting 60 mph (98 km/h) in 3.3 seconds and topping 180 mph (290 km/h) flat out.

That leaves you a ton of money to hot the engine up and tick a lot of carbon option boxes, and still come away with a genuine, knife-edged hypercar for an absolute bargain. And while Ultima hasn't done any world record hunting with it yet, the company says the RS "has the potential to outrun every other road-going hypercar on the market" and that "a clean sweep of every production road car world speed record is not a pipe dream."

The Ultima RS cabin is all business
The Ultima RS cabin is all business

It's not going to look super fancy – the interior is all business, with its race-tastic steering wheel, bare gearshift lever and serious seat harnesses, and nary a cup holder or heated seat to be seen.

It will however handle like a full-on race car, pulling massive cornering Gs thanks to its fully adjustable, custom-made Ultima suspension, forged lightweight 19-inch rims and Pilot Sport Cup 2 hoops. And if your passengers are less than whelmed by the lack of luxury, the thunderous acceleration, wild handling and savage brakes – we're talking 3 seconds from 100 mph (161 km/h) to a dead stop on the higher spec brake option – ought to keep them quiet.

Other options include a speed hump-friendly hydraulic lift system and a "truly thunderous" stainless steel exhaust. But you won't find a soft top, and you definitely won't get Ultima to sell you one with a PDK paddle-shift dual clutch auto. These guys are hardcore: "Most manufacturers seem intent on installing as many technological driving aids as they can, steadily numbing that very feel a sports car driver craves. To us, that's almost sacrilege ... There is a craving amongst true driving enthusiasts for the adrenaline pumping analogue sports cars that we produce."

Ultima RS: A Le Mans Group C inspired machine for the road and track
Ultima RS: A Le Mans Group C inspired machine for the road and track

We're all for anything that takes the show-pony ponciness out of high performance motoring and concentrates on pure performance and pure driving exhilaration. In an Instagram world where price tags equal cred and hypercars are investment pieces, the Ultima RS looks like a people's speed machine for true driving enthusiasts. Bravo.

Check out a hilariously over-edited video below, or a ton of photos in the gallery.

Source: Ultima Sports

BREAKING NEWS - Ultima launch new British supercar

9 comments
McDesign
I like it - it seems subtle.
minivini
Brilliant that it can be purchased as a kit option. That means one should be able to title it in the US as a “home built vehicle”, bypassing the usual import restrictions!
Fletcher
Impressive vehicle, significant performance and for a good price? That's awesome. Add another $40-80k to have someone build and tune it and it's still an awesome deal.
HipposelectLones
For those on a budget? LOL!!! I only WISH I had a budget that included more than 100K for a freaking car! HAHAHAA
Glenn™
$120K for drivers on a budget!? Can I have your budget!!! I could see $30K but not $120K.
Aross
And where exactly are we going to drive a car like this at its top speed?
owlbeyou
When I first saw the thumbnail photo and the headline, I thought: Oh no, another boring electric hypercar...NOT! Man, these wheels kick butt. The spartan interior reminds one of the Ferrari F40 (minus the LED). I'm gonna assume it has two seats cuz none of the pics show that. A red line of 8,500rpm on a Chevy V8? Everything is purpose built and I have no probs with the styling, which for me is rare. There have been a number of American/British machines through the decades, but this one takes the prize and runs off with it by matching multi million dollar performance with sports car prices. I'll have mine all dressed please.
CAVUMark
Car looks great. And for the video, thank god for mute.
tomtoys
Idiocy. Any car not produced, as of very soon, that isn't economical of fuel and manufacture should be banned. The planet would like to see all ICE cars at better than 6 litres per 100km soon, and consumption improving year on year. A moderate power per ton max. would be good.