BAC Mono shows Caparo how to build a race car for the road

If like me you’re sitting with your mouth wide-open staring at these pictures, then you’ll be pleased to hear this is not a concept car, but in fact a real vehicle that you can buy. Soon.

Ah, but what’s the catch? The Mono is described by its makers as “…a lightweight, ultra high performance, road legal sports vehicle designed and manufactured using the latest racing technology.” Sounds a lot like the £200k+ Caparo T1, but unlike the Veyron-humbling Caparo the Mono will cost a far more affordable £80k – or in other words on a par with KTM’s X-Bow.

Just like the X-Bow, BAC’s Mono uses unconventional materials such as soft-texture Neoprene, but unlike KTM’s lightweight special the Mono seats just the driver in true ‘single-seater’ form. The design of the Mono is more ‘organic’ than the X-Bow with sculpted, sleek, organic forms used to provide an emotional, human connection with the mechanical elements of the car.

BAC Mono - sketches

And whilst ‘form follows function’, the designers of the Mono have managed to create a truly beautiful looking car at the same time.

Mono is constructed using high-strength carbon fibre composite around a steel safety cell. The cell is designed to offer maximum safety featuring a FIA compliant steel rollover structure, a sophisticated side impact structure and a front carbon crashbox.

Powering Mono is a longitudinally mounted 2.3 litre, 280 bhp four cylinder power plant provided by Cosworth. Coupled to that engine is an F-3 spec 6-speed sequential gearbox from Hewland.

Suspension is a fully-adjustable pushrod suspension with damping elements made by SACHS Racing. Fitted with 295mm ventilated discs, with AP Racing brakes providing stopping power.

Tyre manufacturer Kumho has used their vast experience in motorsport and road cars to develop a special rubber compound for Mono, which is designed to work with the low weight and optimised pushrod suspension.

Performance and price

At just 540kg, Mono is on a par with the Caparo T1’s unladen weight, but with only half the power it’s likely to be nowhere near as fast. Mind you, 520 bhp per tonne is still more than ‘twice’ that of a BMW M3, so I can’t see anyone complaining about the Mono’s performance.

A car which covers the 0-60mph increment in 2.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 170mph, is likely to be more than quick enough for the road.

The on-the-road price of the Mono including all the taxes is ₤80,790 with first deliveries expected in approximately 12 weeks. BAC will be putting the Mono on public display during the summer months but have yet to confirm the venues, so as soon as we hear further, we’ll let you know.

BAC – the company

BAC (Briggs Automotive Company) Ltd is the British manufacturer of Mono, formed by brothers Neill and Ian Briggs together with Guy Harvey, Murray Adams and Joel Allison.

It’s a small but highly experienced team, with Neil having previously worked for Bentley and Ford (as Engineering Manager on the Focus RS), whilst Ian has been a designer for the likes of Mercedes Benz and Porsche.

There’s a passionate team behind the BAC Mono, with realistic expectations, and we wish them well with their new venture. Judging by the initial response to the Mono, they’re well on their way to forging a niche for themselves in the highly-competitive lightweight sports car segment and filling the void left open by the likes of Caterham.

For more information visit the BAC website or contact them on +44 (0)1477 531 002.

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