Brabham Is Going To Make Its 700bhp BT62 Track Car Road Legal
Following last May’s launch of the BT62 track car (which I covered here), Brabham Automotive have now confirmed a new “Road Compliance Conversion” option for the limited-edition machine, which will make the BT62 road legal.
The British high-performance manufacturer built the BT62 to be an unrestricted track day toy, with performance and power that significantly surpasses that of a modern GT. While that tune hasn’t changed, the marque is responding to customer desire for occasional road use—particularly in order to drive their BT62s to and from the circuit.
For the European market, the conversion process for the BT62 will take place in the UK and costs £150,000, in addition to the list price of the car. Conversions will be handled by Brabham Automotive itself, ahead of the car’s first registration. A similar process is being undertaken in Australia (where the late founder was born) and the company has aims to fulfill requests for a similar conversion in other markets as well.
The timing of the road compliant conversion is up to the customer, confirmed Dan Marks, Commercial Director of Brabham Automotive:
“Customers have the flexibility of completing the Brabham Driver Development Programme before converting their BT62 or requesting that their BT62 be delivered as a road compliant version. Given these cars are limited editions, tailored to the needs of each owner, we are keen to provide this flexibility to our customers where we can.”
In addition to the regulatory requirements, further changes will also be made to make the vehicle more usable on the road. This includes raising the ride height with a front and rear axle lift kit, increasing the steering lock range, adding air conditioning, fitting door locks and immobilizers, and including additional high-quality upholstery in the interior, all to convert what is essentially a racing car into a machine that is comfortable enough (as much as a modern hypercars can be, that is) for use on public highways.
The objective was to make the car legal, safe and usable on the road with minimal compromise to its race-bred circuit dynamics. In other words, it won’t feel like a Rolls if you find a pothole. While there will be a slight increase in weight of course, there will be no reduction in power, with the BT62 retaining the healthy 700bhp output from its naturally-aspirated V8. All said and done, it is very close to the McLaren-Senna-beating power-to-weight ratio of 720bhp/ton boasted by the track-only version of the BT62.
But why produce a road conversion kit for what was announced with some pomp last year as a track special? Commenting on this, David Brabham Managing Director of Brabham Automotive responded:
“We designed the BT62 to be an unrestricted, thoroughbred track car and our extensive test programme has revealed it to be all of those things. This isn’t a car designed for the road. With that said, it’s clear some customers are keen to have a road compliant option with their BT62, particularly to drive to and from the track. My father Jack was always customer focused and we will continue with that ethos.”
Brabham Automotive will be making further announcements about its future plans both on and off the race track at the Autosport International show on the January 10th, but it will be interesting to see how many owners of the ultra-exclusive, million-plus-pound machine take up the option to have their car available to drive to the shops as well.
The first road-compliant BT62 is expected to be delivered in summer 2019. Any takers on when the first YouTube video of a wrecked one shows up?