AT A time when the UK is teetering on the brink of recession, some drivers may wonder who would buy a new car that costs £1.2m and cannot be driven a public road.
But when the car in question resurrects the motor racing legacy of Brabham – the only team in Formula One to win a world championship with a car and driver of the same name – things start to sound a little more appealing.
And when you learn of the new BT62 hypercar’s exotic specification, it’s not difficult to imagine the car will capture the imagination of devoted petrolheads the world over.
Factor in its rarity – only 70 will be made – and wealthy car collectors are probably instructing their money-man to transfer funds to Brabham immediately.
Brabham was founded in 1960, by Australians Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac. Jack was the hot-shot driver, Ron the gifted engineer. By 1966, they’d won the F1 driver’s title – Jack’s third.
For the past 12 years, Brabham’s son, David, has been working behind the scenes to put the Brabham business back on the road.
And while the new BT62 (Brabham-Tauranac) isn’t road legal, it is sure to cause a stir amongst supercar buyers.
Brabham says the car is ‘designed and engineered to demand more from its driver’
“Having driven, raced and won in a host of world-class cars during my 35-year racing career, I knew exactly what I wanted from the BT62,” said David Brabham, who has won the Le Mans 24 hour race and holds two American Le Mans Series championships.
The car is a bespoke design, with a lightweight chassis and carbon fibre body. Underneath there is double wishbone suspension, together with four-way adjustable Ohlins dampers, adjustable anti-roll bars and something called ‘active bump control’. The BT62 weighs just 972kg, without fuel or a driver aboard.
Power comes from a mid-mounted, 5.4-litre naturally-aspirated V8 that is not lacking in performance. Brabham says it delivers 700bhp and 492lb ft of torque. A six-speed sequential gearbox drives the rear wheels.
Extensive work has gone into giving the car race-car levels of downforce. It is said to generate 1,200kg of downforce, suggesting owners had better work on their neck muscles. Happily, a driver training and fitness programme is complimentary.
The Brembo six piston brakes have anti-lock and there is adjustable traction control. Meanhwile, the wheels are wrapped in bespoke motorsport tyres made by Michelin.
Inside, the Brabham features a removable carbon fibre steering wheel, FIA-spec carbon fibre seat shells with a six-point harness, an adjustable pedal box, and a carbon dashboard with a digital instrument cluster. It goes without saying that a fire extinguisher is included.
The company says the car is ‘designed and engineered to demand more from its driver’ and is ‘a car for those who want to challenge themselves and their limitations to experience driving in its purest form’.
It adds that it hopes to race at Le Mans. Hands up who’d like to be at Le Mans to watch it do battle with Chevrolet Corvette, Ford GT, Ferrari 488 and Porsche 911?