Ultima Sports Ltd. is a sports car manufacturer based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. Founded in 1992 by Ted Marlow and Richard Marlow, Ultima Sports Ltd manufacture and distribute worldwide the Ultima Evolution supercar.
The current Evolution is available in two body styles: coupe and convertible. The Ultima Evolution Coupe and Ultima Evolution Convertible have body styles unchanged from the preceding Ultima GTR and Ultima Can-Am models respectively. Prior to the GTR and Can-Am models, the two models produced were the Ultima Sport and Ultima Spyder.
All models in the Ultima range have always been primarily supplied in component form. That is, Ultima produces the parts required for an owner/builder to construct the car off-site. This is the only way to receive such a vehicle in the USA (including a 'rolling body' fully constructed minus engine and transmission). However cars are also manufactured onsite as "turnkey" models for the European market.
The first Ultima produced was the Ultima Mk1 produced in 1983 by Lee Noble of Noble Motorsports Ltd. The car was intended to go into production, but only one was produced because before any sold, the Ultima Mk2 was introduced in 1989. The Mk2 is based on the Mk1 but features new suspension and better brakes. The car was very successful on track, winning many races and taking multiple championship wins in smaller series, being driven by Lee Noble and Ted Marlow. It was featured on the covers of Kitcars and Specials magazine, Sports Car Monthly Magazine and Autochromes Magazine. 13 Ultima Mk2s were produced in total. The Ultima Mk3 introduced in 1989 featured a brand new fiberglass body but was still powered by the same PRV V6. It was the last Ultima produced by Noble Motorsports Ltd before Ted Marlow and Richard Marlow bought the rights to the car in 1992 and started Ultima Sports.
The preferred engine supplier for Ultima is currently American Speed, a company which specialises in re-engineering Chevrolet V8s for increased performance. It was with a 640 hp (480 kW) version of the Chevrolet small-block V8 built by American Speed, that company director Richard Marlow was able to set a number of performance records in an Ultima GTR during 2005, this combination was known as the Ultima GTR640. The latest Evolution variant is being marketed with an American Speed 1,020 hp (760 kW) motor as the most powerful available from the factory.
In 2006 Ultima beat their own 0–100 mph-0 record set in the GTR640 with the GTR720, again using an American Speed SBC engine but now with 720 hp (540 kW). The new record shaved 0.4 seconds off the time completing 0–100–0 mph in 9.4 seconds, a new world record for a production road car with street legal tyres and exhaust.
All tests were recorded on road legal tyres in controlled conditions using a standard Ultima GTR720 and verified by an official from Datron Technology (Guinness World Records timekeepers) using Microsat GPS equipment.
The Ultima GTR720 has also recorded the quickest ever road legal lap time around the Top Gear Test Track at 1 min 12.8 secs, albeit unofficially but with an independent timekeeper and GPS timing gear present. The vehicle was also driven to and from the test track on the public roads as proof of its road going ability. The same Ultima GTR720 also recorded an even quicker Top Gear Test Track lap time of 1 min 9.9 secs but this time fitted with slick racing tyres to eclipse the 1 min 10.7 secs lap time of Michael Schumacher in his $1.8 million Ferrari FXX track car.
- "1983-1991". Ultima Sports Ltd. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- Jan, Melin. "Bilen som slår alla rekord" Ny Teknik, 10 April 2015. Accessed: 11 April 2015.
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