The title of being the World’s Fastest Supercar is a name that has been restricted for the Bugatti Veyron of today and the McLaren F1 of the past. Many different vehicles can be considered for this prestigious title, but the main component that makes it relevant is the fact that the car that holds the title is a production vehicle. This means it goes from a manufacturer’s factory to a dealership and into the hands of a customer who drives it off the lot. What happens when aftermarket companies and kit cars are put into the mix?
Basically, you end up with some of the fastest “production” vehicles ever made. The Hennessey Twin-turbo Vipers are some of the fastest accelerating vehicles on the planet, but don’t exactly come from the factory. The Ultima GTR has broken nearly every speed record in the book and the company that created it has claimed it to be the Fastest Supercar in the World. The biggest difference with the Ultima is that you could build it in your garage.
Being a kit car has its advantages and every owner has the opportunity to build it to their exact specifications. The factory in England will ship out all the necessary parts so you can get the engine here, and not have to deal with meeting safety regulations. Let’s delve into this so-called record breaking connector set called the Ultima GTR.
Hit the jump for more details on the Ultima GTR.
The Ultima(te) Story
A car designer named Lee Noble built the first prototype of the Ultima GTR in 1983. The name may sound familiar considering his other supercar entries include the more recent Noble M600. The first models of the Ultima featured parts harvested from different Renault models including a mid-engined V6. The company began to grow and revisions to the initial setup were made to improve performance. Down the line, a gentleman named Ted Marlow, who had previously bought one of Noble’s cars, purchased the whole company.
Marlow felt the car had potential for higher performance when using a larger engine. The car began being shipped to the United States with everything except the engine. Two options were readily available for the cars once in the States – one was a LS1 V8 from the Corvette. This is where the performance legacy of the Ultima GTR really begins.
The body of the Ultima is built out of several pieces of laminated GRP and finished in the customer’s choice of color. Its shape is undoubtedly inspired by some of the best performance cars of all time and created that way to reduce drag. It is so close to the ground that its stance is reminiscent of GT-cars. With its slim nose and large outer headlights that feature 4-individual lights it brings back memories of Porsche race cars from the past. Being a kit car, the level of fit and finish is surprising. Seams and cracks line up perfectly and the car seems to have been very well engineered through the use of 3-D computer modeling.
Coming around to the sides, one immediately notices the scissor-style doors that swing up echoing the legendary Lamborghini feature. They are somewhat different in that they open up and out like a hatch closer to that of the Ferrari Enzo. The short overhangs on the Ultima mean that there are no elongated bumpers or engine covers for the mid-engine unit. The rear hatch looks like it was taken straight off of a Lotus Exige, but it flows into a cabin with much larger side windows. Large exhaust pipes exit through the center of the car above the rear bumper.
Once inside, you really notice that your driving a kit car meant to be a race-car. It’s all business, but manages to look badass as well. Two alcantara or leather lined racing bucket seats sit side by side with about 2-inches of clearance in between. The floor and sides of the car show exposed welds and the dash panel is a simple black piece housing the gauges and air vents. The only things really needed to drive this car to its limits are the Momo steering wheel, three-pedals, and the billet shifter in the middle.
Options include a heater and air conditioner that feature the controls mounted up under the dash panel. A welded safety cage might be the most important option considering that this car has never been crash tested.
Engine and Performance
As stated earlier, the first cars to come to the United States were available with two engines and one transmission option. A crate small-block Chevrolet engine and the LS1 V8 from the Corvette could fit into the mid-engine supercar. It was mated to a Porsche transmission and differential that had been sourced from late-model 911s. The combination of the LS1 and transmission added about $42,000 to the kit car’s cost. That model weighing about 2,314 lbs snapped a speedo in 3.3 seconds on its way to 60mph.
Today, the company will sell you a turnkey GTR with a 6.3-liter Chevy V8 producing 534hp and 528 lb-ft of torque. It still utilizes the Porsche transmission and the design is said to be able to handle up to 1,000hp engines. According to Datron Technologies who supplies timekeeping for the Guinness World Record books, this car is capable of some mind-blowing figures.
9.9 seconds at 143mph
Competition and Pricing
After looking at these staggering figures, it is hard to think of a single car that can really compete. The true supercar giants like Koenigsegg, Ferrari, Bugatti, and Lamborghini don’t even come close to matching this car’s raw performance, but they also go about it in different ways. The other manufacturers build truly complete cars with many other features – they are road machines that incorporate racing technology. The Ultima is essentially designed for the track with the road being an afterthought. Its performance is staggering and the ability for the home enthusiast to be able to build it on their own make it very desirable especially being priced around $150,000 – but the other manufacturers are in a class of their own.
DIY kit cars are fun for every enthusiast
Performance Stats are mind blowing
Design is stellar
Some may not want to get their hands dirty with a kit car
Safety is always an issue for a car built free of regulations