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Ultima For 2001

By Carey Russ

Ultima Sports Ltd., of Hinkley, England, has been in business for ten years and has made over 175 cars. Like many small British manufacturers, it sells its cars as rolling chassis, with the drive train installed by the customer. But an Ultima GTR is most definitely not what you might normally think of as a "kit car."

Each Ultima chassis is handcrafted to customer specifications at the factory, and then shipped to the United States, where the drive train can be professionally installed if the customer so desires. The standard engine is the aluminum alloy 345-hp Chevrolet LS1 V8, matched to a Porsche five-speed transaxle. This is street- and smog-legal in all 50 states. If emissions compliance is not a factor - if the customer desires a track car - other V8 engines can be used. Exclusivity is assured, as only 75 Ultimas GTRs are built each year.

The Ultima GTR has a full competition specification. Its spaceframe chassis is handcrafted from high-strength steel tubing. Suspension is independent at all four corners, by unequal-length A-arms with Intrax adjustable coil-over shocks and AP Racing four-piston caliper disc brakes. Like most of the chassis parts, the 18-inch wheels are custom-made, in this case from solid aluminum billet. A roll cage is part of the chassis design. The body is made of GRP composite, and has been tested for aerodynamic stability at speeds up to 220 mph. Interior appointment, while not to luxury car standards, is hardly Spartan, with custom-fitted leather racing seats, carpeting, and a suede-covered dash.

Ultima Specifications 2001

5.7-liter V8
Peak horsepower:    345 @ 5600 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 350 @ 4400 rpm

Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
5 - speed manual
Body-on-frame spaceframe construction
Front suspension: independent double wishbone
Rear suspension:  independent double wishbone

4-wheel disc

City / Highway: N/A
Fuel tank:      N/A gallons