Isle of Man adventure with the 2017 BAC MonoThe Isle of Man might be best known for the legendary TT race, but it's also the only place in the British Isles where you can legally drive as fast as you want. How better to take advantage of that than in the new 2017 BAC Mono?
[MUSIC] The Isle of Man is a location whose natural beauty is matched only by its tolerance for speed and it remains the only place on the British Isles where you can legally drive on unrestricted roads as quickly as you safely dare. But unlike the auto bond the next nearest public roads where you can do the same, these aren't mile straight three lane moto aids, rather kind of winding mountain roads with blind corners, sheer cliff faces, and steep drops that can be intimidating to drive on at any speed. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] As part of the track for the legendary Isle of Manteetee these roads form the most lethal circuit in the world. [SOUND] And a serious road. So I was extremely excited to be taking it on in this BAC Mono. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] This trip organized by the BAC boys themselves is an opportunity for [UNKNOWN] owners to come together and enjoy their rides in an iconic location and put their skills to the edge. We gathered in the report at the BAC factory and boarded a fairy for the Isle of [UNKNOWN] All brimming with excitement at the weekend [INAUDIBLE]. Everyone arrived to the island in a customized one of a kind manner but none of them had this, the brand new 2017 BAC model. First of it's kind and the only one built so far, and that will be my ride for the weekend. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Before we tackled the island, it was time for a more controlled environment for a proper shakedown of the cars. [MUSIC] When is a mono not mono, well when there's a dozen or so of them all in one place, this is the first time this many VAC monos have been gathered together out of only about 70 or so that have been delivered to the customers there's a signficant percentage of them here behind me and we've gathered here on the Isle of Man one of motorings meccas to come together and have some Amazing fun. First, we're going to be hitting the track here at Derby. A nice little track to get us warmed up to it. And then tomorrow, we're going to be driving on the TT Circuit. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Just sliding into the mono puts you into the mind set for speed. The snug fitting single seat position instantly gives some gravitas to the occasion and you immediately start to focus on the job in hand. Pulling out from the pits onto the track is as simple as it would be in any car, albeit significantly louder with a crack of the gear box attempting to pierce your eardrums as soon as you move from neutral to first. [SOUND] [BLANK_AUDIO] The 2017 model features a 2.5-litre Mountune engine rather than the Cosworth unit the car was born with. And still has the Hewland sequential six-speed gearbox straight out of a Formula Three car. For 2017 there's now also launch control and a six way adjustable traction control system. This might seem at odds with what a lot of people had loved about the original car its raw uninhibited nature unhampered by electronic interference and relying solely on mechanical grip to keep you pinned to the road. Truth is though, as soon as you build up the confidence to bury your right foot, do you realize the enormous mechanical grip that the model generates? Means that you would have to be driving way beyond the realms of sanity for the traction control to have to kick in. Uninhibited then by the TC, you are free to fly. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [SOUND] The new engine picks power up from 285 to 305 brake horsepower. Which if you're taking into account the weight or rather the lack of it is a huge jump forward. It's the single biggest change you feel in the new model. More speed wasn't something it needed, but my word is it nice to have. [BLANK_AUDIO] But everything contributes to that sensation of speed not just the read out on the speedometer. The low snug, central seating position with your head inches from the gear box Snapping and cracking your way up and down the box the positive jerk from the car every time you change cogs giving you that wonderful mechanical feedback that makes you feel completely at one with the machine. All of it adds to the driving sensation and the track session in a mono is very special thing indeed. As intimidating as it looks, the mono is remarkably easy to get the hang of and very quickly gives you the confidence to really start to push. Even moderate speeds feel fast. You'll get a thrill no matter what your skill level is, but push yourself to your limits and the rewards come flooding in. [MUSIC] Each lap you realize how little of the car's potential you've tapped into, and as you chip away at your lap times and you brake later and later, cornering faster and faster, the whole world melts away. Absolutely nothing can enter your mind, except the next instruction you need to send to your arms, feet and fingertips to nail that The next course. [SOUND] Racecar for the Road is a pointless term. It's been watered down and overused for years. This is simplicity. Uncomplicated. Unhindered. Uncompromising performance. And as difficult as it would have seemed to me when I drove the original car back in 2012, my favorite ride. Has got better. [MUSIC] The transcession was great but it was time for the main event a lap of island following the. Seeing the caravan of Monos line up ready to take on these legendary roads filled everyone in the group with excitement. And as we took our seats, we could barely contain our sense of anticipation. Three, two, one. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] The island did not disappoint. Seeing all those models tearing around the mountain roads. Epic scenery passing by. Potentially hairy corners coming at you constantly. having never visited the Isle of Mann before it was the single best first impression I possibly could have hoped for. A gathering of awesome cars, de-restricted roads, decent conditions and like minded people all enjoying a machine in exactly the way it was built to be enjoyed. VAC make a big deal out of the fact that each and every car they build is unique made to the customers specification and measurements, truly one of a kind. And what better way to enjoy that then here on an island that feels tailor made for it? [MUSIC] So in the largest collection of BAC [UNKNOWN] that has ever been on the planet, we've just all collectively finished a lap of the circuit, the isle of [UNKNOWN] circuit, an unbelievable experience in its own right, but to do it in a BAC [UNKNOWN] has been a most amazing sight, sensation One of the best driving experiences of my life, hands down. [MUSIC] At north of a hundred thousand pounds, the Mono isn't for everyone. Even for those who can afford it, enjoying it may only be a once every now and then treat. I'm just lucky I have a chance to tag along and for a short weekend get to enjoy one of the best possible combinations of cars and locations. If you ever get the chance to do the same Do not pass it up. [MUSIC]