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Breckland Beira: the first pictures

Published: 03 June 2008

Missing Marcos and wondering just what exactly has happened to TVR? Well your sportscar wishes have been answered in the shape of a new British-built two-seater called the Breckland Beira.

Power (of course) comes from a 6.0-litre GM-sourced V8, but the chassis isn’t some hastily cobbled together tubular steel job. Underneath the stylish bodywork the Breckland is actually a Saturn Sky (aka the Pontiac Solstice).

Hang on, a Saturn Sky? That’s not good news for the Breckland Beira.

Ordinarily it wouldn’t be. However, Breckland has removed the Ecotec engine and dropped in the LS2 V8 engine, which apparently fitted remarkably easily. Total weight is 1400kg, and with that V8 kicking out just under 400bhp that Beira will reach 62mph in under five seconds before hitting the limiter at 155mph.

Breckland has also completely revised the chassis, to deal with the extra power, and to sort out the Saturn’s woeful handling. With the help of KW suspension there are uprated springs, dampers and bushes, plus thicker front and rear anti-roll bars. The brakes are now 325mm all round, with six-pot front and four-pot rear callipers. Wheels are 18-inch as standard, while 19-inch rims are an option.

Now I know it doesn’t look like a Saturn Sky, but just what have the external changes been?

The front and rear bodywork is new, although the headlights are standard Saturn items. Around 25cm has been added to the length of the car, mostly at the back, which allows the Beira to accomodate a 70-litre LPG tank alonside the regular petrol tank. While there might not be many LPG fuelling stations outside of Breckland’s Norfolk home, the company has given the car the dual-fuel capability because it can. And you never know when the 700-mile range will come in handy.

What about leaks, shoddy build quality and all those other kit car issues?

This isn't a kit car and Breckland has wisely left the roof and GM doors alone, so all the seals are factory originals. No leaks here. There should also be no issues about overall build quality. Breckland previously built the Mosler, and if that car was anything it was impeccably built.

Wisely Breckland has fiddled too much. ‘We didn’t set out to reinvent the wheel with Beira,’ says engineering director Mark Easton. ‘Since all of the hard work has been done, it has enabled us to keep development costs low. We developed the Beira where we needed to, not for the sake of it.'

What about inside the Beira?

The cabin is trimmed in leather and Alcantara, while GM underpinnings mean air-con, airbags and electric windows are all present and correct. There’s also a 7-inch touch-screen, iPod connection, Bluetooth and a 30Gb hard drive.

Anything else?

The first cars will be left-hand drive as the Sky/Solstice comes from America before being stripped and rebuilt. A right-hand drive conversion is currently being worked on.

Prices are expected to be around £55k, though that depends on final equipment specification. The first customer deliveries are planned for October 2008.

The Beira will be shown to the public for the first time at next week’s Motorexpo at Canary Wharf, where London’s rich can peruse the latest supercars during their lunch breaks.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy