When 'ultimate' it is used as an adjective it describes something that is the best, highest, or the most extreme example. As a noun the word ultimate means the final or last in a series or the best, greatest, and most extreme.
Penultimate means the second-to-last item in a series of things.
It does not signify a large or vast number of variables, or the
abundance of something. It is one.
To clarify, Chapter 14 in a 15-chapter book is the penultimate
chapter and the ultimate chapter would be the 15th chapter, not
necessarily the best or most exciting.