Video: Onboard An Ultima GTR With An Alfa Romeo 3.5 Twin-Turbo V6

Typically, we see these cars with thundering V8s sitting just ahead of their massive rear tires. However, Stuart Kidgell felt the SBC recipe is old hat and opted for a barking V6 to power his baby. The famous Busso engine has powered many Alfas over the last 40 years, and has also become something of an iconic engine thanks to its incredible exhaust note.

Some might fear the famous Busso bellow would be lost with the addition of two turbochargers, but thankfully, that isn’t the case. Stroked from 3.2 to 3.5-liters and using plenty of boost, this motor makes an astounding 700 horsepower and enough torque to easily fry those hefty rear meats in third gear. Since the built V6 only needs to push around 2,200 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio is approaching that of a Group C car—and this car is driven to the limit on pockmarked public roads!

The compact V6, even fitted with turbos and the associated plumbing, leaves lots of space. Photo credit:

Clearly, it doesn’t have a V8’s tire-frying torque at low revs, hence its slight bog off the line (0:29). However, the boost comes on violently and once it’s up and running, the straightline speed is, well, inappropriate for the public road—even in a sanctioned event. With a quick pump of the sequential gearbox’s lever, Kidgell is up into fourth gear, where the Ultima begins to really stretch its legs.

At speed, the car’s enormous rear wing and canards keep it planted, and that stability is what seems to offer its greatest advantage. Streaking away at speed, this fearsome machine looks manageable and controllable, but with so much power under his right foot and a very stiffly-sprung car, Kidgell must tread carefully; this Ultima doesn’t suffer fools.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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