BAC has made the Mono lighter, cleaner and punchier

By topgear, 04 March 2020

Meet the new BAC Mono. Which, it’s fair to say, looks a fair bit like the old BAC Mono. But peek closer and you realised this is rather like the new Ariel Atom; an evolution aesthetically, but a revolution elsewhere.

The big claims are that it’s lighter and cleaner. ‘Any lighter and it’d float away,’ goes the old cliché, and you might indeed need to chock your 570kg Mono down next time there’s a storm with a name blustering through Britain. It sits 20mm lower to the ground than the original Mono and is 25mm longer, boasting a sleeker aero package with new sidepods and a larger rear spoiler.

Cleaner? Well, it passes the latest European emissions and drive-by noise regulations. It’s a single-seat racecar for the road with manners. Whatever next…

That’s despite power going up, too. The Mono is turbocharged for the first time, with its Mountune-developed 2.3-litre four-cylinder possessing 332bhp and 400Nm. That provides a 582bhp-per-tonne power-to-weight ratio – more than an Enzo, Veyron or McLaren F1, and enough for 0-100kph in 2.7secs and a 274kph top speed.

There’s much tech beneath its skinny body. Weight has been saved not only by use of graphene and 3D printing for several panels and components, but by something called ‘generative design’ that’s reduced the mass of the wheels by 35 per cent.

“Generative design is a form of artificial intelligence that leverages cloud-computing to create better outcomes,” we’re told, “allowing manufacturers to explore thousands of designs in less time than using traditional processes.” We think we understand. This is a track day car that’s had The Terminator on the engineering team.

A big suite of clever tech helps justify a big lump of money. The single-seat, high-days-and-holidays Mono costs £165,950 (approx. RM911,077). A bargain for a car that outpunches an F1, but strong when a well-specced Atom is a third of the price. Doesn’t mean we’re not impressed and unwilling to have a go in one ASAP, though.

Like the Mono’s cleaner, greener new look?