One of the most successful race teams in the history of Formula 1 is leaping into the world of supercars
Editor’s note: Follow all of the action and updates on our special Monterey Car Week page.
The new Brabham Automotive is a spinoff of the Brabham race team, which boasts four Drivers’ and two Constructors’ championships, and its first product is the BT62, a track-only supercar limited to just 70 examples.
The BT62 made its world debut in London in May and will grace American soil for the first time in Monterey, California during Monterey Car Week. It will appear throughout the event, which runs from from August 18-26 and concludes with the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
It will be on the Michelin stand at Laguna Seca on August 24 and August 26. Over the week the car will also appear at McCall’s Motorworks Revival on August 22 and at the Exotics on Cannery Row on August 25.
Above is a video filmed at the BT62’s appearance at July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom. It gives us a taste of the raw sound of the naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V8 that powers the BT62 — a welcome change in an era of downsized, turbocharged mills.
As we learned in June, the first 35 examples of the 700-horsepower machine will don liveries borrowed from Brabham’s previous grand prix winners. Naturally, the livery for the car’s U.S. debut will mimic the green and gold hues of the BT7 grand prix racer that Dan Gurney drove to victory in the 1964 French Grand Prix. It was Brabham’s first victory in an F1 championship race.
On hand to present the car in Monterey will be David Brabham, the son of Brabham co-founder Jack Brabham and a three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and a two-time American Le Mans Series winner.
“I’ve enjoyed great success in the United States over the course of my racing career, as did my father, Sir Jack, and brother Geoff Brabham, who is a member of the Motorsport Hall of Fame of America,” he said in a statement. “As a country, the U.S. holds great significance for the family, and continued importance for the Brabham racing dynasty, and we’re proud to be showcasing the car to the world’s most discerning motoring enthusiasts at Monterey Car Week.”
A number of local buyers have already ordered the BT62, which is priced from $1.3 million and due to start deliveries in early 2019. It will be built in Adelaide, Australia, where Brabham Automotive is based and much of the track testing for the BT62 is taking place.
The car weighs just 2,142 pounds yet generates 700 horsepower, as well as 2,645 pounds of downforce from an aggressive aerodynamics package. On top of this, the BT62 employs componentry from some of motorsport’s finest, including pushrod-actuated adjustable Öhlins dampers with coilover springs, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin racing slicks and an adjustable traction control system.
While the BT62 has been designed for the track only, Brabham is planning a conversion package to make it street-legal. With the funds it generates from sales of the BT62, Brabham may eventually look to launch a BT62 road car and possibly a Le Mans-spec race car as well.