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.

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New sports car

2022 Subaru BRZ pricing announced

The BRZ is all-new for 2022.

Subaru

Earlier this year, Subaru announced the all-new BRZ sports car, which is coming this fall to replace the previous generation of the car that was discontinued in 2020. It, along with its Toyota cousin, the 86, get more power, updated interiors, and better technology than their predecessors.

The BRZ Premium is the base trim of the car. It starts at $28,955 after destination. Adding an automatic transmission drives the price up by $1,600 to $30,555. The BRZ Limited starts at $31,455 after destination, which shifts to $33,255 with an automatic transmission.


2022 Subaru BRZ The BRZ's compact size and manual transmission make it enthusiast friendly.


The 2022 BRZ gets a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine that produces 228 horsepower. Part of the appeal of small, sporty cars like BRZ is that they are infinitely more fun to drive than larger, more computerized vehicles. To that end, the car comes standard with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. Buyers can opt to swap in a six-speed automatic transmission, but that almost defeats the point of the car. A Torsen limited-slip differential, vehicle stability control with track mode, and 17-inch wheels round out the car's standard performance features.

Inside, the BRZ comes with an 8-inch touchscreen that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and dual-zone automatic climate controls. A new gauge cluster display can show amps, coolant temperatures, or the car's lateral g-forces, and when track mode is engaged, the tachometer shifts from a circular to a color linear graph.


2022 Subaru BRZ An updated interior and tech are highlights of the new BRZ,

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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