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In the Spotlight - BAC Mono {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

4 Aug 2017

It’s very rare in the automotive world that you can describe a car as unique, but that’s exactly what the BAC Mono is. There isn’t another car on sale that seats only one occupant (some offer it as an option, but there’s room for two like the Dodge Demon, Lotus 3-Eleven etc) and is as close to a race car for the road.

The Mono is the brainchild of brothers Neill and Ian Briggs who set up BAC (Briggs Automotive Company) in 2009 with the purpose of creating the ultimate high-performance road legal supercar. Their approach was one of no compromises; the Mono must be the very best it can be in every area – performance, handling, quality, engineering – it had to represent the ultimate in what can be achieved when you tear up the established rule book.

Ordinarily with these articles I’d go straight into the looks of the car, but such is the exquisite detail and engineering brilliance in the Mono that must be my primary focus. Each Mono is built from a steel structure that is basically a roll cage around the driver, with high strength carbon fibre composite around it forming the body. This gives an extremely strong chassis structure, something you definitely want when you’re so low to the ground. The driver’s seat is mounted directly to the rear bulkhead and the pedals and wheel are fitted to each individual customer. All the body panels are also carbon fibre, but it’s what sits beneath them that really impresses.

Under the rear bodywork sits a 2.5 litre four-cylinder engine by Mountune that produces 305bhp – some may scoff at that when mentioned alongside ‘supercar’ but consider that figure in context – the Mono weighs under 600kg so performance is ballistic. 0-62mph takes just 2.8 seconds and you top out at 170mph – those are certainly supercar numbers. There’s a 48/52 weight split front to rear and the engine is structurally mounted – meaning it forms part of the chassis itself. That power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed Hewland sequential gearbox and gears are selected by the steering-wheel mounted paddles only.

The suspension, as well as being beautiful to look at, furthers the links to race cars with pushrod activated double wishbones front and rear, with the rear mounted directly to the gearbox. It’s fully adjustable, from camber and anti-roll bar stiffness to rebound on the Sachs dampers. Every part of the Mono is tuned to the specific driver. The brakes haven’t been overlooked either, with 4-pot AP Racing calipers and cross-drilled, ventilated discs taking care of bringing it to a halt.

As standard the Mono comes with OZ Racing alloy wheels, but as a £9950 option you can have Dymag wheels which feature a carbon composite rim and a beautiful twin-five spoke centre machined from solid aluminium billet, which is then secured to the rim with titanium bolts. They offer a weight saving over the standard wheels of over 20% which given that it is unsprung mass makes a huge difference to the steering and handling of the car.

Visually the Mono stands alone as well – it looks like nothing else – not even a Formula race car. The design is so futuristic it looks like it was made for a sci-fi film, but as much as it was styled to look good the driving force was always aerodynamics. Form had to follow function and so the Mono directs air over the front splitter, inside the wheel wells to the rear intakes ahead of the rear wheels, while air flows over the nose, down the sides past the driver to the top intake and over to the integrated rear spoiler. Every part has a purpose, like the bodywork cutting in behind the front wheels – this allows the driver to get in easier.

One of the key aspects of the Mono now is tailoring the car to the individual. It may have a base price of £160,000 but very few leave the factory at that price as owners want to make their car more personal to them and there are many options to help them do that. You can have paint in any colour you want, the aforementioned carbon wheels, bodywork in exposed carbon or part-exposed carbon, a custom steering wheel designed to your specifications, a custom matching painted helmet, the list goes on and they aren’t cheap. There was a stunning red car on the stand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed that was north of £250,000…

But then you’re buying something unique that also has the accolades to back up the claims; it was the fastest road car up the hill at Goodwood and topped the leaderboard on the Top Gear track and at Evo magazine’s Anglesey track.

There’s nothing else like the Mono. So get your tickets here while you can.

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