The ties with "O.N." and Rosche then spiral back to McLaren's Gordon Murray when he was hooked up directly with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone after Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac (the "B" and the "T" in the car designations) sold Ecclestone all of their involvement in their two chief companies, Brabham Racing Organisation and Motor Racing Developments. So, Herr Trick is simply reigniting an awful lot of the incest-y race-engineering heritage that worked before.
The project for the 5.5-liter and 4.4-liter engines took two years to get to where it is today. I have to tell you that the larger-volume V10 is a dramatic experience. Everything from the airbox to the intake/exhaust flow to the crankshaft and exhaust system has been altered and redline has also been let go to 8450 rpm. Top speed, though still limited, reaches at least 205 mph and acceleration to 60 mph takes just 3.6 seconds. On the Spanish autovia I managed a fairly secure 165 mph and the attitude is big German muscle.
Driving the BT 64 with everything but the new engine then, I appreciate the coilover suspension and brake work Brabham Racing has done on its own through the purchases of ITS for brake sets and wheels, and of damper scientists Neuefeind.
Even though we were under control the whole time, the momentum this engine and chassis setup allows through the whole rev range is pretty astounding. The 20-inch forged three-piece wheels are not much my cup of tea, but Brabham Racing needs to attract attention and the lightweight wheel designs on all three cars I drove over two days are meant for just that. The hard Dunlop Sport Maxx extra load treads legitimize the lot.
The specific rectangular four-barrel exhaust on the BT 64 is also meant for attention since it explodes under throttle with the Power setting on. I was therefore shocked when Trick said to me that he felt it needed to be louder. The system from the manifold back is built by Stber, which normally makes aftermarket motorcycle exhausts. It sounded like the thing had straight pipes mounted. Stber worked directly with Mr. "O.N." to make sure the approach was holistic and not just tacked on.
Customers can get the engine/exhaust upgrade put into their existing M6 with SMG III transmission for a cool $100k or so.
Brabham Racing BT 64
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
5.5-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve. Modified ECU, new crankshaft, camshafts, conrods, pistons, air filter, intake and exhaust flow, headers, valves by Brabham Racing
Six-speed SMG III sequential manual
Brabham Racing coilovers, anti-roll bars
Eight-piston aluminum fixed calipers, 380mm cross-drilled and internally vented rotors (f), six-piston calipers, 360mm rotors (r)
* Wheels and Tires
Three-piece forged alloys, 8.5x20 (f), 10x20 (r)Dunlop Sport Maxx, 255/30 (f), 265/30 (r)
Peak Power: 597 hp @ 8250 rpm
Peak Torque: 417 lb-ft @ 6250 rpm 0-60
mph: 3.6 sec.
Top Speed: 205 mph
This is the Brabham Racing model that carries the company philosophy squarely on its shoulders and is therefore under a lot of pressure to perform. Only 50 of these are destined to be produced at (by literal euro-to-dollar exchange rates) $300,000 a pop and, though I really liked what I drove, this price is the car's prime obstacle. Hammer that 3 into a 2 and maybe you've got a deal.