Engine - Specification & Dyno Printout

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You can put pretty much any engine in an Ultima, so long as you know what you are doing.  However, at present, the factory recommends and supports only one installation, the Small Block Chevrolet V8 (or "SBC" for short).

Ultima do not supply engines themselves but have a partner in American Speed Inc, a US based engine specialist that supply turn-key engines for the Ultima.  You need to talk to American Speed direct (speak to Gail Trent, a quiet but friendly chap who knows his SBCs !!).  American Speed (or Amerspeed for short) send the engine to you directly.  Most orders take 8 weeks from phone call to delivery.


So what version of the SBC should I go for ?  At first, I had no idea how much power I wanted.  Despite the relative cheapness of the SBC, cost was an issue, rising sharply as the bhp rose past 400.  But whatever the cost, I wanted enough power to blow away any other car that I might run into around Shropshire !  

In the end, I decided on "at least 627".  I've always loved the McLaren F1, which has a strong association with Ultima, take a look at their web site at http://www.ultimasports.co.uk/history/mclaren.html .  A mid 90s McLaren F1 test car using an Ultima chassis & shell is shown on the right.

The thought of at least F1 power felt frighteningly good.  Gail duly provided 642 bhp as per the dyno sheet below (using just 93 octane, UK fuel should add another 5% or so).  All in, the cost was $ 19,000, or around 10,000, with delivery and customs duty adding another 1,000.

Dyno Printout for X11 GTR

642 bhp at 6,800 rpm, 580 ft/lbs at 4,500 rpm.

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