After some fits and starts, the Brabham name is back in business as a race car manufacturer with the debut of the awesome little BT62. The track-focused BT62 features a phenomenal power to weight ratio and builds on the legacy of a name that dominated Formula racing for decades.
The Brabham BT62 weighs in at a mere 972 kilograms (2,143 lb) dry and has a huge 5.4-liter V8 that outputs 700 bhp (522 kW) and 667 Nm (492 lb-ft) of torque. That gives the BT62 a power to weight ratio of 720 bhp per tonne. The car also boasts 1,200 kg (2,645 pounds) of downforce from its bodywork aerodynamics.
A limited production run of the Brabham BT62 will consist of just 70 cars in all, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Brabham name in racing. The first half of those cars will be liveried in tribute to the company's 35 Formula 1 Grand Prix victories.
The legendary Brabham name began in 1960 after race driver Jack Brabham left the Cooper Car Company's race team after winning the Formula One World Driver's Championship in 1959 and 1960. Brabham then teamed with friend Ron Tauranac, an engineer, to form the company which would eventually become a benchmark for racing car manufacturers of the period.
Both native Australians, Brabham and Tauranac based their operations in the United Kingdom and went on to 30 years of championship wins, both as a racing team and as a manufacturer supplier to other teams in all tiers of Formula racing. Jack Brabham's 1966 Formula 1 World Championship title remains as the only win for a driver in a car of his own manufacture.
When Brabham retired from racing in 1970, he also sold his shares in his company to his partner Tauranac, who sold it a year later. The racing team and car manufacturer continued operations under various owners until 1993. After a legal dispute over the name Brabham, the company's legacy was returned to the family of its founder in 2014 as Brabham Racing with David Brabham, Jack Brabham's son, at the helm. A stuttering start at crowdfunding and getting back into racing died on the vine, but it's now reemerged as a race car manufacturer.
The BT62 name is derived from previous Brabham designs. David Brabham, himself an accomplished Le Mans racer, still heads the company, which says it has a phased product development program and long-term plan in place to continue manufacture through the BT62 and beyond. The 24 Hours of Le Mans race is the company's ultimate goal.
Unveiled at a gala in London, the BT62 will be sold through both the Brabham UK office (for US, European, and Middle Eastern sales) and an Australian office for Asian sales. The car itself will be manufactured at a 15,000 square meter facility in Adelaide, Australia.
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more