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Brabham's Ferrari-killing M6

2009-06-30 07:45
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer BMW
Model M5
Engine 5.5l V10
Power 440kW @ 8 250r/min
Torque 565Nm @ 6 250r/min
Transmission Seven-speed SMG
Zero To Hundred 3.8 seconds
Top Speed 330km/h
A few weeks we ago Wheels24 featured a curiously Australian-named German tuning concern which happened to do rather startling naturally aspirated BMW M-division conversions.

Brabham Racing, with the ironically named Michael Trick in charge, is quickly establishing a reputation for outlandishly expensive and technically accomplished BMW aftermarket tuning packages.

Currently the company’s headline act is the madder-than-mad T92 BMW M3.

If your M-division ownership sports two additional cylinders though, well, Trick’s technical team does very evil BT60/64 conversions too.

Brabham Racing wheels look like something from a Meccano set.

Gallardo-eating 5 Series?

Available for both M5 and M6, these BT60-series Brabham Racing toys are just the thing to go baiting Ferrari 599 GTBs and Lamborghini Gallardos.

Although adding $100 000 to the list price of a M5 or M6 would be considered utter financial madness, you do get some rather trick (excuse the pun) engineering from Trick’s design and development team.

Peculiarly for aftermarket conversions, these BT60-series kits are not overly focused on the aesthetic.

Those three-piece forged alloy wheels obviously attract notoriety first – visually – yet the BT60-series conversions are hardly bothered with style. Power, poise and pace was Brabham Racing’s aim.

Suspension specialists Neuefeind have machined a coil-over damper set for the BT60/64 conversion, with specially calibrated anti-roll bars to contain any additional dynamic loads. Considering the stock M5/6 chassis fluidity and dynamic poise this might seem like overkill.

Trust us though, when you see the engine specifications, you’ll realise why...

Big power - the proper way

Nurburgring-based tuning genius Oliver Nowack applied himself to the problem of extracting additional performance from BMW’s exquisitely engineered 5l V10. There was one caveat though - no forced induction.

Brabham Racing’s admirably principled approach to extracting more power without super- or turbocharging meant two years of late night nights for Nowack.

The result is a bored and stroked version of the 5l V10, displacing 5.5l with significantly revised internals – camshafts and cylinders heads have been radically altered and deftly machined.

Rectangular exhausts by motorcycle pipe-benders Stüber. Redline colours in at 8 400r/min. Sound effects? Criminal.

Breathing through a new airbox, those ten Mahle pistons are balanced by a revised crank and expel their exhaust gases through stupefying track-biased Stüber plumbing.

If you are a keen bike owner, you’ll be aware that Stüber is renowned for motorcycle exhaust solutions instead of cars, so you can only imagine what a 5.5l V10 sounds like when fettled by motorcycle acoustic technicians…

For the statisticians, power now peaks at 440kW (up from 373kW), with maximum engine speed up incrementally to a conrod-snapping 8 400r/min. Rotational force is up to 565Nm.

Just consider the 440kW number for a moment, especially since this Brabham Racing conversion is naturally aspirated after all…

Balanced dynamics

Straining BMW’s SMG III seven-speed transmission to the limit, these BT64/60 fettled BMWs will embarrass a mass of supposed Italian and British automotive exotica.

Engage the launch control on a redoubtable surface and 0-100km/h is up in less than four seconds, with the wailing madness of that 5.5l V10 able to pulse you all the way to a 330km/h top speed.

With such stupendous performance on tap Brabham Racing has mounted ITS brakes at all four corners.

Measuring 380mm up front and 360mm at the rear, the new stoppers are six millimetres larger fore, yet 10mm smaller aft. Eight-piston calipers actuate the front axle brakes whilst six-piston items slow down action at the back.

The styling might not appeal to all – especially those garish wheels – yet the important bits are impeccably engineered.

Brabham Racing has taken BMW’s S85 engine to an unspeakable level of performance, yet Trick’s men have had the presence of mind to ensure the dynamic package is perfectly balanced with commensurate increases in braking and suspension components too.

If you desire the world’s most resolved four-door performance car, a BT60 tuned M5 would be the perfect tonic.

We could not really argue with the logic of a soft-top M6 in BT64 trim either, especially to appreciate those Stüber exhausts in concert via 10-cylinders at 8 400r/min…


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