Beck Engineering & Composits GmbH from Muri near Berne in Switzerland presented an exciting new product at the luxury motor show in Vienna: On 10 January 2007 the new Beck LM 800 was shown to the world’s public for the first time. The company is a small Swiss manufacturer that has specialised in the production of top class, super sports cars. The main features here are the lightweight construction and the associated use of the most varied of low-density materials, such as aluminium, magnesium, titanium, as well as the latest plastic and composite materials – Kevlar for instance. It goes without saying that, according to Swiss tradition, the highest demands in terms of quality apply here as well.
The company gets its name from René Beck, who can look back on a history of over 20 years in the construction of prototypes and vehicles. Even when he was a schoolboy, in every free minute he was already fiddling around with home-made sports cars and working on his dream. His motto then is still the same now: “We start at the point where others have already given up.”
Much in the fields of lightweight construction and highly refined aerodynamics has been borrowed from nature, as nature always demonstrates an enormously high level of efficiency in all its “designs”. Also, some solutions have their origins in Formula 1 when it comes to both technical components and the construction methods used in the car. The very low drag coefficient (cw value) resulted from a reduction in the cross-sectional area of the vehicle to an absolute minimum. There is no superfluous material to impede the lines, so that the consistent implementation of “form follows function” has led to a very special appearance with its own highly technically- and performance-orientated, futuristic aesthetic.
The Beck LM 800 is a car that imparts a feeling of pure enjoyment of sport from within, has optimal driving characteristics thanks to its active, electronically controlled chassis and has enormous power reserves at its disposal as a result of its very light weight. In addition, the vehicle is very easy to maintain, thanks to its modular construction and telescopic jacking system. The basic construction of the car is similar to a Formula 1 racing car with a central monocoque made of composite materials that protect the driver and provide the necessary rigidity. Fixed to this are the engine and gearbox support, as well as the front transverse control arms of the chassis.
The central monocoque takes all the static load and provides the car with its necessary rigidity. It is made up from an aluminium frame and the latest composite materials. The same material mix of carbon, Kevlar and aluminium that is used for the monocoque is also used for various bodywork parts. This has the big advantage that the new regulations governing personal protection have already been implemented. All attachment parts are made of a high-strength aluminium alloy. They are milled out of solid pieces, undergo surface treatment and are then power coated.
The top four layers of the visible parts are made of carbon and the fabric and leather covered components are made of 100% Kevlar. All parts are screwed and/or glued together. The ergonomically shaped seats are produced specially and made of several layers of Kevlar which are then well upholstered. The digital instruments satisfy even the toughest demands.
The car has an electronically controlled, hydraulic active chassis, as normally used in Formula 1 cars, which reacts to all telemetry data. The wheels are also made from specially manufactured aluminium parts, milled out of solid pieces and then coated.
The engine is a V8 with a displacement of 4.2 litres, also equipped with a Turbo-charger that has been specially produced for the Beck LM 800. A semi-sequential, 7-speed gearbox ensures smooth power transmission to the wheels via a limited slip differential, with plenty in reserve at 650 HP. Gear changing takes place either with a conventional gearstick or using a rocker switch on the steering wheel.
The built-in pneumatic jacking system, making tyre changing child’s play, is very innovative in a car approved for street use, as it is normally used on racing cars.
Country of origin Switzerland
Numbers built N/A
Configuration MTM / Beck LM 90º V 8
Location Mid, longitudinally mounted
Construction aluminium block and head
Displacement 4.172 liter / 254.6 cu in
Bore / Stroke 84.5 mm (3.3 in) / 93.0 mm (3.7 in)
Valvetrain 5 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Fuel Injection
Aspiration Twin Turbo
Chassis/body carbon and kevlar composite monocoque
Gearbox 7 speed Semi-Sequential
Drive Rear wheel drive
Weight 900 kilo / 1984.2 lbs
Length / Width / Height 3960 mm (155.9 in) / 2043 mm (80.4 in) / 951 mm (37.4 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2708 mm (106.6 in) / N/A / N/A
Power 650 bhp / 485 KW
Torque 900 Nm / 664 ft lbs @ 5000 rpm
BHP/Liter 156 bhp / liter
Power to weight 0.72 bhp / kg
Top Speed 350 km/h / 217 mph