Ultima Sports Ltd. is a sports car manufacturer currently 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.
Ultima Sports Ltd,
Unit 4 Cloverfield,
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 produce the parts required for an owner/builder to construct the car off-site, and 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 preferred engine supplier for Ultima are currently American Speed, a company who specialise 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 GTRduring 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.
It has been suggested that with the substantial upgrades, the Ultima Evolution may go from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.9s, and 0-100 mph-0 in 8.8s.
- 1983 Lee Noble, acclaimed automotive engineer and designer, sets up Noble Motorsport Ltd and launches the Ultima Mk1.
- The Ultima Mk1 had a square tube space frame chassis, Ford Cortina front uprights/brakes/steering, Austin Princess radiator and Renault front uprights/brakes on the rear. The V6 engine and transmission were taken from a Renault 30.
- 1984-8 Before any cars were sold the Ultima Mk2 was developed using 99% of the Ultima Mk1 demonstrator car which replaced the problematic Renault rear suspension with Noble Motorsports own alloy uprights which were machined to accept a Renault wheel bearing and Lancia Beta rear brakes.
- The Ultima MK2 is featured in a promotional article and photoshoot in Sports Car Monthly Magazine alongside a genuine Porsche 956 race car.
- Ted Marlow becomes Noble Motorsports first customer for an Ultima by purchasing an Ultima Mk2 with Ford 3.1litre V6 Essex power.
- Lee Noble and Ted Marlow go on to race their cars in a race series sponsored by Ted Marlow's Civil Engineering company.
- Lee Noble goes on to win the series.
- Ted Marlow re-engineers his Ultima Mk2 to accept a small block Chevrolet V8 coupled to a four speed Porsche transaxle along with revised suspension and bodywork
- Ted Marlow fits a small block Chevrolet V8 Formula 5000 based engine into his Ultima Mk2
- Ted Marlow decides to modify the rear bodywork of his Ultima Mk2
- Ted Marlow's Ultima Mk2 records many race wins in a race series now sponsored by Forwell Designs
- Ted Marlow wins at Oulton Park in heavy rain
- Ted Marlow builds a small block Chevrolet 377cu ins (6.2litre) V8 using a bowtie block and Kinsler injection to give a higher torque figure and improve corner exit speeds
- A TOTAL OF ONLY 13 ULTIMA MK2 VEHICLES WERE SOLD WORLDWIDE.
- 1989-91 Noble Motorsport Ltd commission a new Ultima body to be designed by an aluminium-rolling specialist that was formed in alloy sheet prior to the fibreglass moulds being taken. This shape becomes the Ultima Mk3.
- The Ultima Mk2 production ceases.
- Noble Motorsport Ltd designs a new space frame chassis and the Ultima Mk3 is launched still only offered with V6 Renault power and donor parts
- An Ultima Spyder prototype is built by Noble Motorsport Ltd in race form only
- Other customers copy Ted Marlow's philosophy and fit small block Chevrolet V8 engines into their Ultima racecars
- Chevrolet V8 powered Ultima cars dominate races for five years. Taking championship victories every season.
- Ultima cars hold the outright lap record for any car on road tyres (race regulations stipulated only road tyres could be used) on every circuit they race on.
- Ted Marlow's Ultima Mk2 leads an Ultima Mk3 and Ultima Spyder prototype into the Mallory Park hairpin on lap one and go on to record yet another Ultima 1-2-3 victory
- Ultima Spyder prototype at Cadwell Park going on to win the race
- The Ultima marque would often lap the entire field in a race at least once.
- 1991 Ultima effectively banned from racing for being too quick and therefore deemed unfair to other competitors.
- Ted Marlow purchases an Ultima Mk3 in component form for road use
- Ted Marlow builds a Renault V6 with 260bhp that came with his Ultima Mk3 kit and sells the engine on
- And re-engineers his entire Ultima Mk3 kit to accept a small block Chevrolet 350cu ins (5.7litre) V8 with Motec injection coupled to a Porsche 4 speed transaxle