BRABHAM BT62: 5.4-LITRE V8 TO POWER TRACK-FOCUSED HYPERCARDate: 2018-04-20
The forthcoming Brabham Automotive BT62 track-focused hypercar will cost around R20 million and be powered by a 5.4-litre V8 engine, with a power-to-weight ratio of 720bhp per tonne. Just from the figures alone you can tell its going to be fast, and I mean seriously fast!
The new company, led by former Formula 1 racer and Le Mans winner, David Brabham (and son of three-time world champion Sir Jack), will reveal the BT62 at a yet-to-be-announced London venue next month. It has now released a teaser image of what it calls a "low-slung, race-inspired car" showing thin LED rear lights that illuminate a large carbon fibre rear wing.
Brabham says the BT62, a track-focused hypercar, will have a dry weight of 972kg – which is the same weight as a Hyundai i10, to put it in perspective. And the Brabham BT62 will be able to produce more than a staggering 1200kg of downforce, so mathematically, this car will literally be able to drive upside down at 300km/h. For comparison, the McLaren Senna GTR produces around 1000kg of downforce.
Despite the fact that the BT62 has not been shown in public yet, Brabham is already taking orders for the machine, with first deliveries expected later this year. Owners will be given membership to a track-focused driver development programme. After the car is launched on 2 May, following a "rigorous and extensive engineering programme", the public will be able to view it at a ticket-only event during 4-5 May that will also include a display of Brabham racing cars and memorabilia.
The footage clip (below) released last month features a car at full throttle blasting along a pit straight, offering some insight into what the BT62 will be like.
A screen grab of the moment the car passes the camera (above) appears to show a Le Mans-prototype-like silhouette, while the V8 engine revs hard like a racing car motor, with a tone not too dissimilar to that of the eight-cylinder unit used in Formula 2.
Despite its clear extremeness, it's quite surprising that the BT62 will be road legal, but very exciting nevertheless. It's described by its maker as a car "that has been built to set blistering lap times", suggesting it could be as focused as the McLaren Senna.
Unquestionably fast but about far more than outright speed, the Brabham BT62 is resolutely focused on uncompromising performance, handling and driver involvement, the company said. Born from a unique and historic racing pedigree, Brabham Automotive’s first car has been designed and engineered to demand more from the driver and reward the limited few who will rise to its challenge.
The BT62 name resumes a discontinued lineage of racing cars produced by the original Brabham brand. Brabham has been synonymous with motor racing since its founder, Sir Jack Brabham, first took to the F1 grid in 1955.
David Brabham said: "The Brabham philosophy has always seen drivers extract every ounce of available performance from their cars and themselves. That same spirit lives strong within Brabham Automotive today and its first project, the BT62, honours the legacy of the cars that have previously carried the iconic Brabham name".
He launched the company in February, two years after the name was first registered at Companies House. He has long expressed a desire to return his family name to motorsport; last year, he told the press that he wanted “to see the name back on track”, suggesting the launch of the company could lead to a motorsport programme in the future.
A Brabham spokesman declined to comment on the return to racing, stating that the company has been “continually approached on various projects” and that it “will reveal more about the [automotive] project and its intentions shortly”.
Previous speculations linked the new Brabham brand to the Force India F1 team, which, it was believed, could be taken over amid an ongoing legal case involving its owner, business tycoon Vijay Mallya. However, Force India is competing in this year's season, quelling any possibility of a takeover in the current year.