Flat Out: Bare bones speed in an Ultima GTR - Hagerty Media
In the world of supercar comparisons that pit laps times against dollar signs, there is one underdog not to be missed. The Ultima GTR can humble seven-figure machinery with a fraction of the price tag. Built by Ultima Sports of England, models in the US exploit the loopholes in kit car regulations. American customers buy a fully completed rolling chassis, then fit an engine and transmission specified by Ultima to install with relative ease. Or, as is the case here, you can let someone else do the work and buy a second-hand car.
This Ultima GTR was purchased by an executive from a west coast technology company after years of searching. “I always looked for one,” the owner says. “I love the near-tactical, jet-like spartan interior.”
And Spartan it is. An aluminum shifter pokes up from polished aluminum floors. The dash consists of only the gauges necessary to ensure the LS6 (sourced from a Corvette) stays together. That aluminum shifter yanks the cables that put the Porsche G50 transaxle through the gears. Despite the major components from two serious sports cars, the Ultima is in a different realm on account of the 2300-pound curb weight. With just 400 horsepower under the clamshell, that works out to a power-to-weight ratio only slightly worse than the 650-hp Corvette Z06.
The owner cites that the car is very demanding to drive, and that’s exactly why he loves it. Driving the Ultima GTR well is a satisfying challenge. The brutish nature might explain why the first owner only accumulated 200 miles on the odometer, spending most of its time under a humidity controlled bubble. Now with 800 miles and climbing, the new owner clearly has no intention of hiding the car’s racy black silhouette.
There are no compromises in the Ultima’s construction, it is as bare-bones and speed-focused as cars come. Some would consider the air conditioning a break of that rule, but the owner says air conditioning is a mandatory item. It’s a greenhouse surrounded by black paint, a recipe for a toasty ride in need of cool air.
Even with pedal efforts that would wear out a bodybuilder, the owner has no intentions of keeping the GTR off the streets. He enjoys putting it to work in canyon roads and cars and coffee type events. The race inspired build is admittedly polarizing, yet that is also what drew him to this driver’s seat and keeps him in it.