Ever since Brabham’s intentions became clear last year, commenters have compared the Australian-English company to McLaren. Brabham has more modest ambitions – or more focused, depending on whom you speak to – for the time being. Said Marks, “Between 100 and 200 cars per annum sounds right” for its production goals. McLaren Automotive built more than 4,800 cars last year, and has sold more than 20,000 in the eight years since the MP4-12C debuted.
Brabham and McLaren do have a history, though. Australian Sir Jack Brabham founded his Brabham Racing three years before New Zealander Bruce McLaren founded his McLaren team, not long after both men had been teammates at the Cooper Formula 1 team. Ron Dennis worked as a mechanic at Brabham, and eventually took over McLaren. When Bernie Ecclestone owned Brabham, the team won two F1 titles with cars designed by Gordon Murray, who would also make his way to McLaren. And everyone has compared the BT62 to the McLaren Senna.
The “junior” Brabham isn’t expected for another three years, perhaps joining in the same splash as Brabham’s Le Mans entry. Backed by Australia’s Fusion Capital, the boutique maker sees a clear path to completion. Marks said that Fusion “already owns a carbon-composite shop and a commercial vehicle firm, so we have plenty of resources in-house.” We’ll see if it tilts at traditional supercars like the McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8 Tributo, or if it goes after bigger fish like Ferrari’s V8 hybrid and the Aston Martin Vanquish, the latter of which should arrive around the same time.