Brabham BT62 Simultaneously Showcases Racing Brand's Past and Future

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
brabham bt62 simultaneously showcases racing brands past and future

While normal cars appear to be vanishing from automaker lineups at an unsettlingly swift pace, it now seems as though there are more supercars available for purchase than ever. Earlier this year, British racing car manufacturer and former Formula One racing team Brabham announced it was planning to produce another one.

We were a little disappointed when we found out it wasn’t intended for street use. Still, as track-only models go, you’d be hard pressed to find something boasting better specs. It may be just another mid-engined plaything for the super wealthy, but it pays homage to the brand’s racing heritage and takes aim at McLaren’s Senna — and that’s worth getting excited about.

Perhaps more importantly, the Brabham BT62 provides a glimpse into the brand’s future — which is supposed to include a Le Mans endurance racer and a street-legal variant of the same model.

In the meantime, we have a singular track-only unit pushing out 700 horsepower and 492 lb-ft of torque from its naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V8. When asked why the company didn’t adopt forced induction, Brabham stated it wanted to prioritize response and minimize weight wherever possible. At only 2,143 pounds without fuel, we’d say the company has done a bang up job on the latter half of the equation.

A fixed aero package, made predominantly of carbon fiber, produces more than 2,645 pounds of downforce at speed. Brabham did not specify at what speed the BT62 puts all of that air to work, but a set of Michelin racing slicks ought to keep it planted until then. Extensive suspension details were unavailable, though the manufacturer has said it’s a double-wishbone setup with adjustable anti-roll bars and Ohlins dampers. Brakes are carbon units with six-piston calipers all around.

The interior, while not barren, isn’t what you would consider plush. This is a racing car, and the removable steering wheel, adjustable pedals (instead of seats), rollcage, and FIA-approved carbon-fiber seats with six-point harnesses serve as a constant reminder.

At a sky-high $1.5 million, Brabham says it only intends to build 70 BT62s “to celebrate the seventy years since Sir Jack Brabham launched his racing career in Australia in 1948 and the birth of Brabham Automotive in 2018.” The first 35 cars will also be liveried to commemorate the company’s racing heritage — specifically from the 1960s era, when Black Jack partnered up with Ron Tauranac.

We’re suckers for heritage stuff, but it’s twice as exciting to hear the company wants to enter a car into LeMans and eventually build street-legal hypercars. Hopefully, the company offers details on both soon. Until then, those who can afford the Brabham BT62 will be able to enjoy a driver development and experience program to come to grips with their new purchase. Deliveries are expected to begin later this year.

[Images: Brabham]

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  • Downunder Downunder on May 04, 2018

    And it's going to be built in the shadow of the Holden factory's demise in Elizabeth South Australia. Whether it'll be built in the actual factory or another empty car parts building is yet to be seen. To build a unique factory for just 70 vehicles wouldn't be viable for any maker. The other thing is that they would have a brand new race track to run around on, The Bend Motorsport Park, about an hour out of the city.

  • SPPPP SPPPP on May 04, 2018

    It seems to be left-hand-drive. Interesting for a car from the Land Down Under. (Or were the pics inadvertently reversed?)

  • Wjtinfwb Over the years I've owned 3, one LH (a Concorde) a Gen 1 300 and a Gen 2 300C "John Varvatos". The Concorde was a very nice car for the time with immense room inside and decent power from the DOHC 3.5L. But quality was awful, it spent more time in the shop than the driveway. It gave way to a Gen 1 300, OK but the V6 was underwhelming in this car compared to the Concorde but did it's job. The Gen 1's letdown was the awful interior with acres of plastic, leather that did it's best imitation of vinyl and a featureless dashboard that looked lifted from a cheaper car. My last one was a '14 300C John Varvatos with the Pentastar. Great car, sufficient power and exceptional highway mileage. The interior was much better than the original as well. It was felled by a defective instrument cluster that took over 90 days to fix and was ultimately lemon law' d back to FCA. I'd love one of the 392 powered final edition 300s but understand they're already sold out and if I had an extra 60k available, would likely choose a CPO BMW 540i for comparable money.
  • Dukeisduke Thanks Cary. Folks need to make sure they buy the correct antifreeze, since there are so many OEM-specific ones out there nowadays (Dex-Cool, Ford gold, Toyota red and pink, etc.).And sorry to hear about your family situation - my wife and I have been dealing with her 88-yo mom, moving her into independent senior living, selling her house, etc. It's a lot to deal with.
  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.