Modern supercars too sanitised? Try a 7.0-litre V8-powered Ultima instead!
By Matt Bird / Friday, January 7, 2022 / Loading comments
There would be a good car collection to be made from everything ‘Evolution’ badged. From M3s to Mitsubishi Lancers and Mercedes 190Es to Lamborghini Huracans, there aren’t many duds with ‘Evo’ in the name. The clue really is in the title, too; cars using the monicker usually include significant development and progress over the models they were built from – typically turning them into something better.
Same goes for the Ultima Evolution, a car deemed sufficiently advanced from previous models (the GT-R and Can-Am) that it ditched the old Ultima badges entirely. The philosophy was similar – big power, little weight, a concentrated Group C look – albeit with a very thorough overhaul. At launch in 2015, and in response to customer demand, Ultima promised a car with “even greater levels of fit, finish, quality, safety, driver comfort, usability, practicality and handling finesse”. Torsional rigidity was increased, brakes were uprated and even the rear visibility was improved for the Evolution. It was no mere facelift.
That said, the old ways weren’t abandoned entirely; prodigious power was, of course, guaranteed, with everything from 355hp to more than 1000hp (!) on offer from the trusty Chevy LS V8. A manual gearbox guaranteed involvement, as did the performance with a kerbweight of little more than a tonne – the fastest Evolution was claimed to reach 150mph in less than nine seconds…
This Ultima doesn’t have a thousand horsepower, but it won’t want for performance courtesy of the 7.0-litre dry-sumped LS7 V8 as also found in the old Camaro Z/28. It was potent in that car, and not only is the Ultima hugely lighter than the Yank tank, this one is even more powerful, with work from Wortec and American Speed to liberate more than 700hp. Which is quite a lot. Even as standard, Ultima said an LS7 Evo could do 0-100mph in 5.3 seconds. Additional equipment includes the Porsche G96/96 transaxle gearbox, AP Racing brakes, adjustable suspension, a billet quickshifter and forged wheels. Every Ultima has been a fearsomely focused sports car – that’s sort of the point – but even by those standards, the Evolution looks pretty serious.
The sheer performance may be one of the reasons why this Ultima has only covered 850 miles since November 2018, but then the past couple of years haven’t been conducive to getting a car like this out and about. Still, the previous owner’s loss looks set to be the next one’s gain, as this is a barely used Evolution available in a smart spec. Whether its you or the factory assembling, it’s going to take a fair while to get a bespoke build road ready, which only furthers the appeal of this one – it’s not often an Ultima of any kind comes onto the market.
It’s for sale at £75,950; given an Ultima Evo factory build started at £66k six years ago, presumably with a lot less power than this one, another £10k doesn’t seem unreasonable – particularly with the additional upgrades. Sure, it’s not going to cosset like a contemporary sports car, even with the Evolution’s Bluetooth integration, but that was never really the point. For the ultimate in driving exhilaration (pun intended, apologies), it’s hard to think of anything better at M3 money. Best get booking this year’s track days now…
- Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 | PH Rise & Drive
- Ultima GTR | PH Buying Guide
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