Brabham Automotive launches in the heart of London with the BT62
Words and photos by Andrew Coles
The eponymous Brabham name is making a comeback to the racetracks of the world with the launch of the all-new BT62, an AUD$1.8million trackday-only hypercar which was launched to roaring applause in the heart of London. Sports Car Safari was there to take in this historic moment, and to inspect the car in person.
Power comes from a bespoke 5.4-litre naturally aspirated V8, and its 700bhp and 492lb ft of torque at 6200rpm should provide sufficient motivation to shift the 972kg kerb weight with fervour. It sits inside a chassis which is clothed extensively in carbonfiber, and sends its drive through a pneumatically actuated Holinger six-speed sequential transmission.
The BT62 will really set itself apart in the area of aerodynamics, where it is capable of delivering up to 1,200kg of downforce – 200kg more than the similarly track-only McLaren Senna GTR. It bests that car on power to weight, as well.
The Senna’s launch at Australia House, located in the same central London building as the Australian High Commission, reflects that the BT62 truly is a product of Australia. The design and two-year development program was carried out in the country, testing was completed in secrecy at Phillip Island, and the car itself was built at the ZF Lemforder factory in Edinburgh Park, in Adelaide’s North. Many Sports Car Safari readers will know people who were involved in the construction of the prototype, and we believe that some of our readers actually built this car.
Brabham plans a production run of 70 BT62s, and the first 35 will be themed in accordance with each of Brabham’s 35 World Championship victories. The launch car was resplendent in Aussie green and gold, paying homage to the BT19 which Brabham steered to the marque’s first victory in the 1966 French Grand Prix at Reims.
In a subtle touch, the trophy from that very race graced the grand hall, along with a significant back catalogue of past Brabham racing cars.
There was no announcement as to a forthcoming road version of the BT62, but David Brabham, son of World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, did announce that he intends to bring the Brabham name back to the racetracks of the world, and has targeted a start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a primary target.
We are thrilled to not only see the Brabham name make a proud comeback but also to witness the rebirth of Australian car manufacturing in such an incredible manner. This is just the beginning of the Brabham Automotive adventure and we can’t wait to see where it goes.