Rene Beck always wanted to fulfill his dream of owning a sports car. At first, it was supposed to be a Ferrari, but he soon realized that no current model would suit him and he decided to design and build his own super sports car. He was aware that this would not be an easy undertaking, but that did not prevent him from fulfilling his dream together with his father in 1987. 15 years and a lot of nerves later he presented the Orca 113 at the Geneva Motor Show 2003!
This is what the company declared back then:
"This sports car that we have put on wheels is intended to take a new, slightly different direction in sports car construction.
Today's "so-called" super sports cars are bursting with power and weight, almost dinosaurs, to put it another way. Everyone has one big problem: THE WEIGHT.
We think it's a shame that you pack 500 to 600 hp into a sports car in order to move 1500 to 2000 kilograms in a sporty way. So we've tried to shave weight on every possible part, but not at the expense of SAFETY.
It was clear to us from the start that there were clear guidelines for this uncompromising sports car: width, height, wheelbase, performance, and interior. But at the top of the list were two elements that are rather atypical for the sports car. These are noise emissions and fuel consumption.
It shouldn't be a noisy, fuel-consuming hp monster, but a light, weight-optimized piece of sports equipment that only has one requirement for the sporty driver: A GOOD CHARACTER."
The bright blue prototype was demonstrated on the Castrol stand and was powered by a 2.3-liter T5 Volvo engine 380 bhp engine. Fully drivable and registered in Switzerland. Even the experts were amazed!
Interesting fact is that in 2003, the Orca 113 was demonstrated at motorshow in Mexico and even did some test laps at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Initially located in Schaan, Liechtenstein, the company was soon moved to Zug, Switzerland. However, it is not exactly clear if they operated from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, or both countries.
In early 2004, Orca Engineering was founded by Ralph Beck (not related to Rene). The young company has set itself the goal of bringing the Orca C113 onto the market in a small series to stir up the sports car world with this unique product.
The name "Orca" (Latin: Orcinus Orca) is directly associated with the killer whale. After Rene Beck drove the car through downtown Bern several times, a little girl came up to him and said:
"Look, that's Free Willy" - because of the little rear wing on the hood that looks like a killer whale's fin. The number 113 was derived from ONE because it was Rene's first vehicle, and composed of THIRTEEN, Rene's lucky number. The C stands for the coupe.
The design of the Orca C113 takes a slightly different approach, which makes the car even more special. Many design elements were taken from nature given templates because nature can give us an answer to all problems and complications. The aerodynamic measurements prove it: a drag coefficient of 0.26 with constant downforce is the result! Besides, the design speaks a clear language... "deep, wide and strong" with a height of only 96 cm and a width of more than 2m, you can't deny this.
All chassis parts consisted of 10–12 layers of carbonfiber/Nomex, which were baked in the Autoclave oven. The chassis (5 parts) were glued together after the first time in the oven, hardened, and went back into the oven again. The entire chassis construction could be disassembled in three sections (front, mid, and rear). All fitted elements were made of carbon fiber as well and were stiffened with aluminum. The weight of the chassis with all supports and attachments was well under 200kg.
The C113 was a two-seater super–sportscar with carbon fiber monocoque, which consisted of 4-6 layers of carbon/Kevlar and was baked and hardened as well. The entire body was made of 10 single parts for a trouble-free and inexpensive interchange. All the parts, which are attached to the body, were glued and screwed together. All parts weighed about 35kg. The curb weight of the car is 850kg.
The car had independent wheel suspension with double wishbones front and rear with coil springs and alloy uprights. All suspension parts were made of aluminum by CNC machining. Orca had ventilated and cross-drilled carbon/ceramic composite brakes front and rear with eight-piston brake calipers. Another chassis feature was a pushrod system with a coil/damper unit and adjustable gas shock absorbers. The swiss supercar had an ultimate, specially designed active suspension, electronically controlled and adjustable by any personal computer. Orca also got in-house designed three-piece wheels with polished rims. Tire size was 245/35-18 front and 285/30-18 rear.
Interior was made in Alcantara, leather, aluminum-carbon fiber or as desired.
The car was further updated and renamed. The C113 got an Audi V8 4.2-liter engine with twin turbochargers and an intercooler. It was prepared by the German tuning company MTM. It was capable of 650 bhp and 900 Nm of torque. A top speed of 360 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100km/h under 3 seconds were promised.
The company planned to make 99 examples of C113 and R113 which was a planned roadster version (never made).
At the Geneva Motor Show 2005, the Orca returned with two cars. They demonstrated not only the orange C113 but also SC7.
"SC" stood for Street Competition and the "7" for the maximum number of pieces produced model. The vehicle had an engine tuned to 850 hp, chassis made of carbon, and active shock absorbers. The vehicle had a top speed of over 400 km/h and accelerated from 0 to 300 km/h in just 12 seconds!
The main differences between C113 and SC7 were in chassis and suspension. For example, all suspension parts were made of aluminum by CNC machining, and were covered with a layer of carbon fiber. SC7 also had a carbon-fiber engine mount. The projected top speed was around 400km/h and 0-100 acceleration was 2.4s.
The company had very brave statements and not only intended to compete with Ferrari Enzo or Pagani Zonda but also mentioned that "it will be the world's fastest supercar."
However, as it very often happens in the business of boutique hypercars, the change happened again. Orca Engineering switched its name to Beck Engineering & Composit and moved to Bern, Switzerland. The change also appeared in the revised company with "BE&C" added to it.
A completely unexpected world premiere happened at Vienna Motor Show in January 2007 where Beck presented the LM 800 supercar prototype. It was a non-running car completely different from previous Orca models. It was based on the philosophy that exceptional performance can only be achieved thanks to the lightest possible vehicle weight.
The bodyshell and central monocoque were made of the latest composite materials, such as Kevlar which ensured the necessary stability and optimal protection. Parts that come under extreme stress were manufactured of high-strength aluminum alloys, with as few weld seams as possible. Virtually all the suspension parts were milled out of solid pieces and screwed together.
The engine was a V8 model especially produced for the Beck LM 800 with a displacement of 4.2 liters which, thanks to two turbochargers, delivered a performance of around 650 HP to the drive shaft. It was prepared by MTM like in the Orca and most probably was exactly the same power aggregate. The drive unit was designed in such a way that even acceleration is achieved across the entire range up to a top speed of over 350 kph. Beck LM800 was planned with a semi-sequential 7-speed gearbox.
Anyhow, Vienna was the one and only place where this car was ever shown. It disappeared as quickly as it appeared out of nowhere. Nothing new was heard about Orca or Beck supercars ever since.
P.S. In September 2021 an advert appeared on a German eBay selling Orca SC7 carbon fiber body, engine, gearbox, tires, and drive shafts. It was not explained if it was the second unfinished example of the SC7 or disassembled Geneva show car, however, only one road-worthy SC7 was ever made.
Nov 15, 2023
Nov 10, 2023