Just when you thought that the market for superlight, super quick supercars would be spoilt for choice, newcomer Brabham Automotive have stepped into the arena with their BT62 supercar, and the stats are something to behold.
710PS and 667Nm of torque from an in-house naturally-aspirated 5.4-litre dry-sump V8 engine, propelling a 972kg (dry) car made predominantly of carbon-fibre. Though the firm boasts no claimed performance figures, those ingredients will definitely make for one quick dash.
More than the BT62’s tantalising stats, the car looks like a serious effort with the car echoing recognisable exterior design cues from the likes of the Ford GT, Lamborghini Veneno, and the Koenigsegg Agera, which seems remarkably discernable yet cohesive as a whole. The interior too looks as spartan as the likes of the AMG Project One and Aston’s Valkyrie road racers, and as well-screwed together as either one.
Perhaps the most tantalising aspect behind the BT62 is the name it wears on its fascia – Brabham.
Debuting supercar makers are as plentiful as they are vapid, but the latest debutant carries with it plenty of substantial credibilities. For one, the Brabham name is motorsports royalty.
The Brabham name is best remembered for three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham, who passed away recently in 2014 at the ripe old age of 88, and the successful Formula One team that bore his name.
A racer’s post-racing career often reads like an Icarian epitaph, like Senna and Prost, you either go out a legend or live long enough to meander around the paddock as a team manager. There are a few who would go onto greater success as a team owner, Ken Tyrell is one, Eddie Jordan is another and, to a certain extent, Bernie Ecclestone is too – though his case was a touch OTT.
The more exceptional ones would have their expertise picked and names planted on special edition cars. Geniuses like Frank Williams, the Coopers, and Amedee Gordini, whose names today are more synonymous with tuner fame than racing glory.
However, while ‘Black Jack’ is no longer with us, with the BT62’s debut, his name will earn the rarest distinction of a Grand Prix driver’s whose name rose beyond his on track achievements to adorn a racing team and ultimately a full-fledged car maker. Only three other racers who have achieved such an accolade and they were Enzo Ferrari, Bruce McLaren, and Vincenzo Lancia.
And like the three, Brabham’s cars were successful, though the Australian went a step further by becoming the only driver in history to win a Drivers’ and Constructors’ Formula One world championship in his own car in 1966.
That by itself might be all the pedigree needed to convince punters to part of the cool £1 million Brabham Automotive asks for one of the 70 BT62 examples it plans to make in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Jack Brabham’s competition debut in 1948.