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Brabham reveals 522kW atmo V8 for its BT62-badged Senna fighter

By Barry Park, 20 Apr 2018 News


The car that will wear the name of Australia’s three-times Formula 1 champion has revealed it will tap super-GT levels of performance

THE reborn Brabham BT62 will weigh just 972kg dry, produce 522kW from its naturally aspirated 5.4-litre V8 – and look like this as it disappears in front of you in the dark.

Brabham Automotive overnight teased more details of its potentially LMP1-inspired BT62 ahead of next month’s full reveal, announcing that the low-slung and wide supercar – we can tell that from the wide-set tail lights illuminating what appears to be a huge GT3-proportioned split rear wing and massively deep split rear diffusers that hint at a central exhaust – would make 730ps, or 537kW, per tonne from its Brabham-branded powerplant. Don’t forget, we’ve already heard what this engine will sound like ...

“With its performance-optimised body and aggressive aerodynamic package, the Brabham BT62 delivers over 1200kg of downforce. Saving additional weight and with additive performance, the BT62’s brakes are carbon/carbon – a current Formula 1 technology that was first introduced to the sport by Brabham in 1976 – featuring six pistons front and rear.”

Brabham BT62 teaserPushing the image a bit reveals more details. The rear-mounted grilles suggest a mid-engined format, the carbonfibre weave of the rear wing pops out, while the deliberately blacked-out area in between the tail-lights hint at a central exhaust system. The cabin, which sits behind plumped front guards, cuts in around the doors, while the wing mirrors ... let us know if we're wrong, but they have a smack of VL Commodore about them.

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Overall, the Brabham BT62's proportions remind us a but of the low and wide profile of the rear of the BT52, pictured below.

Brabham BT52

Brabham Automotive is a car-making company set up by Formula 1 racer and Le Mans winner David Brabham, who is the son of three-time Australian F1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham. David will reveal the BT62, surrounded by other historic Brabham-badged race cars, at a yet-to-be-announced location in London next month.

The images, and the sniff of serious performance, hint that the Brabham will be a direct competitor to the McLaren Senna, which only generates around 1000kg of downforce from its lairy, equally big-winged aerodynamic form. We can probably also make comparisons over cost; Senna will come with a $AUD1.3 million price tag, suggesting the Brabham’s sticker could bounce around the same level.

Let’s compare a bit more. The Senna will weigh just less than 1120kg, and its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 will produce 588kW. That’s about the same giddy level of performance as the Ferrari LaFerrari, which can dispatch the 0-100km/h benchmark in around 2.5 seconds, and keep going to a top speed of 330km/h.

A few more details have leaked out about the Brabham. Buyers will gain automatic inclusion in a Brabham-led driver development program that will hone their skills on a track, and the first deliveries are expected late this year.

Little else is known about what form the finished car will take. For that, we’ll potentially have to wait until the official May 3 reveal.