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Brabham Automotive already working on a more affordable road car

Brabham has opened up about its third act. The first step was getting the BT62 hypercar on the track, the second phase is preparing to enter the World Endurance Championship in 2022. The third phase is developing a more affordable supercar to be produced in higher numbers than the BT62, which will only see 70 units made. Speaking to Motoring Research, commercial director Dan Marks would only go so far as to call the next vehicle “a road car that’s well-suited to the track,” and to say it’s already in development.

Ever since Brabham’s intentions became clear last year, commenters have compared the Australian-English company to McLaren. Brabham has more modest ambitions – or more focused, depending on whom you speak to – for the time being. Said Marks, “Between 100 and 200 cars per annum sounds right” for its production goals. McLaren Automotive built more than 4,800 cars last year, and has sold more than 20,000 in the eight years since the MP4-12C debuted.

Brabham and McLaren do have a history, though. Australian Sir Jack Brabham founded his Brabham Racing three years before New Zealander Bruce McLaren founded his McLaren team, not long after both men had been teammates at the Cooper Formula 1 team. Ron Dennis worked as a mechanic at Brabham, and eventually took over McLaren. When Bernie Ecclestone owned Brabham, the team won two F1 titles with cars designed by Gordon Murray, who would also make his way to McLaren. And everyone has compared the BT62 to the McLaren Senna.

The “junior” Brabham isn’t expected for another three years, perhaps joining in the same splash as Brabham’s Le Mans entry. Backed by Australia’s Fusion Capital, the boutique maker sees a clear path to completion. Marks said that Fusion “already owns a carbon-composite shop and a commercial vehicle firm, so we have plenty of resources in-house.” We’ll see if it tilts at traditional supercars like the McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8 Tributo, or if it goes after bigger fish like Ferrari’s V8 hybrid and the Aston Martin Vanquish, the latter of which should arrive around the same time.

Brabham announces return to Le Mans, in its BT62 supercar

Shortly after announcing the BT62 supercar’s new road-legal package, which also adds some driver comforts, Brabham Automotive has announced its racing intentions. The Australian manufacturer will be taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship in 2021-2022, in the GTE class. The GTE car will be based on the BT62 chassis. Stock, the BT62 comes with a 710-horsepower 5.4-liter V8.

There’s an interesting sideline to the news: As the BT62 debuted as a track-day car first and a road car second, early Brabham customers have become part of the BT62’s track testing team. It’s often said that with some cars, customers become sort of beta testers during early production — with Brabham’s supercars, the aspect seems rather more voluntary. In any case, the endurance racing program is “directly linked” to Brabham’s BT62 Driver Development Program, which also gives owners Pro-Am racing opportunities.

Sir Jack Brabham won the French Grand Prix at Le Mans in 1967, so the name has definite history there. David Brabham, the company’s managing director and lead test driver, also won at Le Mans in 2009, with a Peugeot 908, and his brother Geoff took the honors there in 1993 driving a Peugeot 905.

David Brabham says: “Returning the Brabham name to Le Mans is something I have been working on for years, so it’s fantastic to make this announcement today. Brabham Automotive only launched its first car, the BT62, in May 2018, so we have a long road to travel to earn the right to return to compete at Le Mans. That work starts now with a long-term racing commitment. We look forward to developing the BT62 and future products while building a world-class competitive race team around the leading engineering and manufacturing talent we have in the business.” Brabham also stated that the company intends to compete in a lower-level racing series in the future.

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Brabham to make BT62 supercar road-legal

When Brabham Automotive showed its BT62 supercar last spring, it was announced to be track-day only — in other words, not designed to be road legal. The BT62 was first aimed at customers with a trailer and the means to enjoy the supercar’s potential outside of regular traffic. However, the company has now confirmed a conversion package to make the BT62 fit for the road.

As David Brabham stated: “We designed the BT62 to be an unrestricted, thoroughbred track car, and our extensive test program has revealed it to be all of those things. This isn’t a car designed for the road. With that said, it’s clear some customers are keen to have a road compliant option with their BT62, particularly to drive to and from the track. My father Jack was always customer focused, and we will continue with that ethos.”

The UK price for the “Road Compliance Conversion” option means a £150,000, or $190,000, increase in the BT62’s base price, which is $1.4 million. All European-market BT62 cars ordered with the package will be converted in the UK by Brabham Automotive, and the work includes an Individual vehicle approval test. But it’s not just paperwork and testing that’s worth £150K, as the road-legal BT62 cars will also receive a lift kit of sorts to raise the front and rear, altered steering, air conditioning, door locks, immobilizers and additional interior upholstery. All to make the track-day special a little more livable in the real world, and to make driving to the track perfectly legal.

While £150K would buy a perfectly agreeable “real world” car to supplement a spartan, trailered BT62, we don’t think that’s likely to be a concern for Brabham’s clientele. The company says the modifications are meant to pose a minimal compromise to the car’s abilities, and while the curb weight is slightly increased, engine output will remain the same at 700 horsepower.

Brabham expects to have the first road-legal BT62 readied and delivered by summer. Currently, the conversion work is offered with European customers in mind, but the company is said to be working with authorities elsewhere as well.

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Brabham BT62 supercar and its naturally aspirated V8 revealed

Brabham, a name long associated with racing, has just revealed its new supercar, the BT62. And from the looks of it, it’s pretty typical modern supercar design. There are all manner of cavities from scoops to vents, channels to grilles. It’s a very swoopy, curvy design that almost looks like a Lamborghini from a world where the company focused on curves instead of angles. Inside looks very purposeful but well crafted. Everything is in carbon fiber, and the seats are incredibly close together. Ahead of the racing-style steering wheel, complete with all sorts of knobs and buttons, is a screen for instruments, and in the center stack is a screen for other funtions.

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Under the carbon fiber skin is a naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V8 making 700 horsepower and 492 pound-feet of torque. That engine sounds pretty remarkable, too, based on the sound sample the company released earlier. It’s paired to a six-speed sequential transmission, and it powers the rear wheels exclusively. An enormous rear wing is capable of providing 2,646 pounds of downforce, which is over 500 pounds more than the car’s curb weight of 2,143 pounds. Stopping the featherweight supercar are disc brakes with six-piston calipers at all four corners.

Brabham will only build 70 of these cars, and they’ll sell for about $1.4 million.

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Brabham BT62 will have 700 horsepower, debuts in two weeks

After nearly three decades away from motorsports, Brabham is back from the dead. David Brabham, son of company founder and namesake Jack Brabham, announced in February that he has plans to return to Formula 1. In addition to a new F1 car, the company will be building a new roadcar. Two weeks ahead of its debut, we get some of the big specs and a single teaser image of the Brabham BT62.

The new car will be powered by a 700 horsepower, naturally-aspirated 5.4-liter V8. The car will have a dry weight of just 2,142 pounds and put down 2,646 pounds of downforce thanks in part to a massive rear wing. Weight savings comes in the form of carbon, including six-piston brakes both front and rear. Other details remain a mystery for now.

The Brabham BT62 will be limited to just 70 units. Even with a base price of $1.4 million, we don’t expect it to take too long to sell out. We just hope that this helps fund future development of both road and race cars, similar to McLaren’s current lineup.

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Brabham reveals name and exhaust note of new sports car

Last month, racing driver David Brabham, son of successful racer Jack Brabham, announced that he had some big plans for his family name, including returning it to an F1 team and starting a road car company. The latter is named Brabham Automotive, and its first car finally has a name: BT62. It’s not particularly exciting, but that seems to be the case with British racing firms that build road cars, just look at McLaren.

Perhaps more exciting than the name is the way the car sounds. The company released a sound clip that can be heard in the embedded video above. It’s mostly of the car at idle, with a couple of light blips, but it sounds serious. We can make out some lope in the exhaust note, and it sounds as though it’s barely muffled, if at all. We can’t wait to hear it at full throttle.

We shouldn’t have long to wait, either. The company’s homepage has a countdown to the car’s reveal that, as of the publishing of this post, has just 51 days left. That puts the reveal at the start of May.

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