XCAR: BAC Mono: Not a figment of your imagination, it really is this awesome
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XCAR: BAC Mono: Not a figment of your imagination, it really is this awesome9:15 /
The BAC Mono may have seemed too good to be true when we first got to see this single-seater, road-legal supercar but the Briggs Brothers have proved that it is, very much, a reality.
[MUSIC]. Two years ago back in 2012 when XCAR was merely in its infancy our trusty video producer Nick and I traveled up to Cheshire, where on an industrial state, tucked away in a corner, two brothers were making something incredible. The BAC Mono. [MUSIC]. We were lucky enough to get one of the world's first press drives on public roads and it's an experience that's haunted me ever since. And now, we're back. [MUSIC]. And frankly, can you blame us? When the Mono first started appearing on the radar, the world's press went wild. With concept car looks that would look more at home in intergalactic travel than on terrestrial roads and performance to shame even the most exclusive of hyper cars, we awarded the Mono our XCAR Editor's Choice for best drive recently. A few years on from our first visit, there are still only a few of these ultra-rare beasts out on the roads. For anyone fortunate enough to ever get their hands on one, they felt urged to do whatever they can do to get another crack at it. So the news that Mono is moving house was enough of an excuse to get us to travel up for another fix. Been invited to come and drive the BAC Mono once was an unbelievable privilege. To be back here driving it a second time well that's just ridiculous! BAC has moved from the back of a restoration garage to a shiny new facility in liverpool where the Mono has room to grow. As production shifts to the new factory BAC will be able to ramp up production and meet demand for this road legal track dame monster. BAC told us that they plan to continually improve the Mono, and have already launched the first upgrade to add extra kick. One of the new options now available are carbon ceramic brakes to replace the standard steel ones. That means a weight saving of two and a half kilos per wheel on a car which already has a power to weight ratio of a Veyron. It's got the exact same fueling sequential six speed guage box in a formula three car, it's got the exact same weight. And the exact same power, so it's virtualy is a formula three car with less downforce with a normal plate on it. The 2.3 liter naturally aspirated inline four cyclinder engine kicks out 280 brake horsepower and 280 mutemeters of torque. All primed to push the ridiculously lightweight Mono up to 60 miles an hour in 2.8 seconds. That's about as long as it takes me to say this sentence. It will keep going up all the way to 170 miles an hour if you're brave enough. We use the phrase, drive it like you stole it, to mean, [NOISE] drive it to the edge of your ability. Drive it without a care in the world. I drive this like I make millions of pounds and a year and I like my toys. [MUSIC]. Driving this car is like being in the center of a sci-fi action film. It looks like a space ship and feels like a rocket. The thrill of planting your foot while nestled in the embrace of the cockpit is closer to the sensation you get on a roller coaster than any other car I've driven. But instead of simply coming along for the ride, you have the controls. The amazing thing though is the paradox this throws up. The central seating position and extremely low stance make you feel like you're breaking the sound barrier in normal day-to-day traffic. But even at high speeds you never feel out of control. This will undoubtedly get you round the circuit in a faster lap time than anything else. But it's not really just about that. If you want to learn how to drive to the absolute edge of your ability, you could do far worse than this. Unless you are a professional racing driver making your living behind the wheel of a car, you are never going to be better than this car. [MUSIC]. We do a lot of track days so, when we take customers and they're all excited to drive it and get in. It really does take them half a day until after lunch, before we kind of sit down and chat and we go, I've really not found anywhere near the limit yet. And to date out of all the test drives I've done in three years, all the track days, there's still no one that has got close to the limit of this car yet. Because your head's out in the open open, you're experiencing every little bit. You're not locked away in a cabin. For someone like myself who's never driven single seaters, this is unlike anything. The experience of driving a Mono is the cheapest way you're ever gonna drive a Formula One car, is the way you're gonna be able to describe it the best. It is the closest you'll ever gonna get. It is the world's only road-legal single seater super car that is in this form. As modern as the Mono looks, its true elegance lies in the simplicity of the concept. The car has been engineered by a team of people fixated on detail and perfection. What strikes you about this car, compared to a Ferrari. There's so much going on in one of those to keep you on the road, so many computers. So many trickeries to keep you safe. Everything on the BAC Mono that keeps you safe and planted when going as fast as you can is there because this has been engineered to do so. In terms of its perfect qualities for the track, I'd say you, you're looking at mid corner what it can do. It's very late breaking cause it's so light and there's no extra weight added that you don't need. The mid corner speed again comes from how light it is so you might not be getting the same top speed that you get with some of these heavy, heavy kind of couple of turn super cars. But then you put it on the track, and will beat 99.9% of all of those cars. [MUSIC]. It's all mechanical grip there's only a tiny bit of aero. And you feel everything, every bump in the road, every bit of camber. The engine, they don't want to disguise the sound. They want you to hear it. They want you to hear everything. And you hear everything. Yes. The one thing that strikes you when you talk to anyone at BAC, from the top to the bottom of the company, is how much enthusiasm everyone has for the car. You feel how proud they are to be behind this incredibly exciting chapter in automotive history. What's even more impressive is that BAC has managed to create something new and plant a union flag in the world of bedroom poster cars in an age where businesses are dropping like flies. Well let's look at it realistically. It's over 100,000 pounds depending on options. The BAC Mono does not come cheap. But the passion that's gone into every single nut and bolt. Every decision for every manufacturer, every supplier, has been the right one. And what they've ended up with is something unlike anything else you can buy or drive. This is why the select few who can afford it are chomping at the chance to own one of these. The BAC mono has proven itself on every single front. Good looking, check. Amazing to drive, check. Sustainable as a business, check. When we first came to see the BAC Mono, it felt almost too good to be true. But now the world has collectively pinched itself and no, we're not dreaming.