This Car Costs Less Than An M3?
The brand new Ultima RS is the same price as an M3 competition, but which one is the better car for an enthusiast?
The all new 2020 Ultima RS has been revealed and is boasting a top speed of 400km/h and 0-100 in 2.3 seconds. But is it the better alternative to the once known enthusiast dream car, a BMW M3?
Ultima Sports was founded in 1992 by Ted and Richard Marlow. They had a vision to create a track focused race car and then redevelop it so that it could be used with ease on the road. This resulted in a car that has a hydraulic ride height lift kit, air conditioning, satnav, parking sensors and even a heated windscreen all while still being hugely effective on track.
At its heart, the Ultima holds a Chevrolet 6.2-litre V8 LT. This comes in many different options, ranging from a 480bhp LT1 up to a 1200bhp supercharged LT5. All that power goes through a six speed manual transaxle gearbox and is put to the asphalt via 19" forged wheels fitted with Michelin pilot sport cup 2's. This results in acceleration to 100 quicker than the Laferrari, Hennessey Venom GT and the Tycan Turbo.
However, there are some downfalls to owning this beast. Firstly, this is a race car and is not practical for the daily commutes and school runs. It has next to no sound deadening which makes talking over the throaty and thunderous V8 soundtrack quite unenjoyable. However, Ultima have the option available to switch the stainless-steel exhaust for a "more comfortable tone" but this still won't sound anywhere near as quiet as the average car.
If you are interested in purchasing a factory-made RS the waiting list is two years, although if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, you can receive an unassembled one in just 22 weeks.
This work of art starts at an astonishing AU$160,000 and will cap at around $200,000. This makes it around the same ballpark as the much-loved M3 competition. But is it a better upgrade?
The 2020 BMW M3 competition produces 503bhp resulting in a 0-100 in 3.8 seconds from the twin-turbo 3.0 litre straight-six.
The most notable changes to the M3 from the previous model is the front styling. While this is an acquired taste it is important as it allows more air flow to cool the beefed up inline-six. The new M3 also comes with more flared fenders as well as a wider and more narrow stance that give the car a aggressive and muscular.
Inside the luxurious but high performance 3 series is a carbon fibre trim and a pair of leather seats that are adjustable and heated. Also included is a 12.3 inch gauge cluster and a 10.25 inch infotainment screen which sets it apart from the Ultima as it comprises of one that you would find in a 2013 Corolla.
However, the new M3 competition is substantially heavier than its predecessors, increasing by 160-200kg depending on the options and while the interior trumps the Ultima, it is practically the same as the previous generation with only a few small minor upgrades.
The BMW M3 competition starts at $154,900 and represents extremely good value for money but with a few selected options this will skyrocket past the $160,000 mark.
Overall, it is unfair to compare these two completely different cars as one is built for the track and modified for the road and the other is built for the road and modified for the track. However, if uncomfortable seats and impracticality isn't an issue then the Ultima RS ticks every other box.