New Model News

Brabham Automotive previews road-worthy BT62R ahead of its June arrival

Brabham Automotive is readying its factory for production of the BT62R.

Photo courtesy of Brabham Automotive

Brabham Automotive is currently Australia's only automaker and they're not making too many autos, yet. But, they're gearing up to. The company marked its two-year anniversary this week by looking forward at its near-ready BT62R model.

Brabham has recently completed its brand new workspace, which houses its engineering, design, manufacturing, and assembly teams. The 2,500-square-meter facility is part of a larger plant space that also houses Precision Buses and Fusion Composites in an industrial area in Edinburgh, a suburb of Adelaide.

The location of Fusion Composites is key to Barbham's success. They are the supplier of Barbham's carbon fiber components as well as having a foot in the aerospace, mass-transit, and goods manufacturing fields, among others.

Brabham Automotive BT62R The Brabham Automotive BT62R will be able to fully function as a daily driver, if that is what its owner wants it to do.Photo courtesy of Brabham Automotive

Precision Buses, Fusion Composites, and Brabham Automotive all share common ownership.

"What we have created here is a production facility that suits our current requirements as a niche manufacturer but is also easily scalable as our business grows," said Dan Marks, CEO of Brabham Automotive, and Director and partner in Fusion Capital. "There is plenty of space for us to scale-up both Brabham Automotive and Fusion Composites as activity in both businesses increases."

In the Barbham facility are numerous bays that are specialized depending on the task at hand. There's a finishing bay for final inspection, a dedicated carbon composite workshop, engineering offices with 3D printing facilities, meeting rooms, and a customer engagement area. This is the way may specialty automakers are set up.

Brabham is also growing its team of experts. The staff now consists of members with experience at a variety of auto manufacturers including McLaren, Aston Martin, Ferrari, General Motors, Jaguar, Koenigsegg, Lotus, Mercedes AMG, Tesla, Volvo, and V8 Supercars as well as the Virgin Formula E racing team.

Brabham Automotive hopes to enter its BT62 at the 24 Horus of Le Mans in 2022 or 2023. Photo courtesy of Brabham Automotive

The Ultimate Track spec of the BT62 launched in 2018. It features a 5.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 paired with a six-speed racing transmission. It achieves 700 horsepower and has 1600 kg of downforce. The car's body weighs just 972 kg (dry) and has a higher power-to-weight ratio than similar models from McLaren, Ferrari, and Porsche.

Brabham calls it, "the most dynamic car in the world."

From there, Brabham created the BT62 Competition, a stripped back version of the racing car, aimed at enthusiast drivers as well as professionals. It is this model that leads the Brabham Motorsport program, which is aiming to compete at Le Mans in 2022 or 2023, dependent on the finalization of new hypercar regulations.

The BT62R is the next stop on the journey. It will be fully road-compliant when it launches in June as the third variant from the BT62 chassis. It will feature the same V8 as the other two models but have components that make it more palatable as a daily driver including a front and rear axle lift kit, different aerodynamics, and increased levels of luxury and comfort (likely softer seats and a more polished cabin appearance).

Pricing has not yet been announced for the BT62R.

Trending News

 
 

The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

Trending News

 
 

Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

Trending News