GRR

The Brabham BT62R is a 710PS race car for the road

04th September 2020
Bob Murray

David Brabham’s dream to race a car of his own construction at Le Mans may be on hold, but his equally long-held desire to build a road car has been met today with the reveal of a street-legal version of the Brabham Automotive BT62 – and with it confirmation that a  second new Brabham supercar for the road is in the pipeline.

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We will have to wait to see what that is – details are promised for the coming months – but for now we have the BT62R and, as expected, in all major ways it’s BT62 all over but with everything needed to make it both legal and adequately civilised for road use. Hardly shopping-friendly then but, as the Australian company says, “everyday driveable”.

It’s still the wild-looking and carbon-bodied mid-engined coupe we remember from its world debut drive up the Goodwood Hill at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastrcard in 2018. True, the aero has been toned down a bit with new splitter and diffuser and single-plane rear wing. But it still has the much-lauded BT62 chassis and carbon ceramic brakes. And it still has a 710PS (522kW) normally-aspirated 5.4-litre V8 at its heart, along with a sequential six-speed transmission. The gearbox has been given more street-friendly gear ratios and a traditional clutch is fitted – kangarooing down the High St can be so embarrassing…

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Along with numberplates and new mirrors and lights as the law requires, the BT62R gets a variable ride height (you can set it between 70 and 130mm) to cope with sleeping policemen and steep driveways. There’s a quieter exhaust, more sound and noise deadening, a plusher cabin, softer seats, new wheels (shod with Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres) and more upmarket detailing: the badges are 18ct gold. Climate control, a heated windscreen, reversing camera, audio system and new dash display are among other changes for the R model.

All this is bound to mean it weighs more than the track versions, which are just under a tonne. Performance should still be mighty, though Brabham isn’t giving us any numbers, while the car is said still to be completely at home on a track, especially when you opt for the Track Pack. Yep you guessed, this puts back some of the things the R takes off…

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The price is £1.25 million, you can get it in either left- or right-hand-drive and with your own choice of colour and trim or with one the Brabham Celebration Series liveries marking the team’s 35 F1 wins. First examples of the Australian-made BT62R are set to be delivered in coming weeks.

Sounds like the perfect Brabham for Le Mans ­– all the way there by road, of course.

  • Brabham

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