A new, 400bhp two-seat roadster will make its debut in London, England on June 9 when Breckland Technology unveils its exclusive two-seat V8 soft-top, the Beira.Part of Hong Kong-based multi-national, Riche Holdings, Breckland is experienced in the development and production of high-quality, low volume specialist cars and prototypes for an array of international clients, including Mosler. The company has now employed its skills to build its own limited-production supercar.
The Beira is a hand-built, two-seat roadster with unique styling, based on proven GM architecture and powered by GM's LS2, 6-liter V8 engine, tuned to produce 400bhp. Tipping the scales at 3090 lb, the Beira's impressive power-to-weight ratio ensures invigorating performance, with the promise of a sub-5sec sprint to 60mph, coupled with tremendous torque and a governed top speed of 155mph. Breckland Director, Mike Rawlings, explained, "We looked seriously at environmental concerns and, as a result, Beira is designed to run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas as well as gasoline. This not only helps to reduce running costs and emissions, but also means Beira is capable of travelling some 700 miles between fuel stops.
Using the GM Kappa platform, Beira differs in many respects from other products on this platform. The most radical departure is the installation of the potent, 6.0-liter, LS2 V8 engine, more commonly found in Corvette and Pontiac GTO models. It replaces the four-cylinder Ecotec engine and produces more than twice the power of this unit. "We didn't set out to reinvent the wheel with Beira," says Engineering Director, Mark Easton. "The Kappa platform offers a competent chassis, which has been subject to intensive crash and safety tests, and is readily available. "Since all of the hard work has been done, it enabled us to keep development costs low. It also enabled us to bring the project to fruition in less than 12 months."
The mighty, fuel-injected, aluminium V8 and Tremec six-speed manual gearbox are neatly packaged under the Beira's swooping hood, with a bespoke wiring harness and ECU, the latter being reprogrammed to allow the V8 to deliver close to 400bhp, combined with a dual-fuel capability. Other key considerations involved significant attention to chassis dynamics, to ensure the car corners, steers and brakes effectively with the significant increase in engine output.
To satisfy this requirement, the fully independent suspension was entirely re-engineered by Breckland in association with KW Suspension, with uprated springs, dampers and bushes, plus thicker anti-roll bars front and rear. The result is slightly less suspension compliance, but a more focused ride and handling. Stopping power is provided by 325mm rotors on all four corners, the fronts being grasped by six-piston calipers, with four-pistons on the rear. Steering is via power-assisted rack and pinion, while the dramatic 18" wheels are 8.5" front and 9.5" rears, shod with Bridgestone ultra-low profile tires. Customer options include an upgrade to 19" wheels.
In order to make the Beira look different, save weight and liberate additional luggage space behind the passenger compartment, Breckland's engineers re-modelled both the front and rear body sections, using lightweight composites instead of steel. The result is a distinctive nose section and pronounced fastback rear.
Despite the inclusion of an additional 15-gallon LPG reservoir to go with the existing, 13-gallon gasoline tank, the Beira features a significant increase in usable luggage space with the hood down, thanks to some clever packaging.GM steel doors are used to ensure side-impact protection and good weather sealing, while crash protection front and rear is provided by transverse aluminum structures attached to the hydro-formed steel chassis. Both front and rear bulkheads are steel to provide rigidity to the screen and soft top.
The Breckland Beira is designed as a high-quality low-volume, sportscar for enthusiasts, and follows the tradition of installing an easily available, American-designed V8 engine in a small, nimble, two-seat chassis to produce an exhilarating, high-performance package."We have received tremendous interest and orders for Beira already," says Mike Rawlings. "The car debuts in left-hand drive form, underlining its appeal to enthusiasts in Europe and beyond, and will be available in the UK and internationally via our appointed agent network from November 2008."