The BAC Mono occupies that rarified space at the top of the driver-focused car pyramid, a singular tool for driving purity—quite literally, since the Mono’s single-seat nature is right there in the name. Now it’s more powerful, lighter, and even sportier-looking than the already incredible previous-generation Mono. And it takes inspiration from the hardcore BAC Mono R that debuted last year.
While most cars this minimalistic simply don’t have the room or inclination to employ anything beyond a funky utilitarian aesthetic, a la Ariel Atom or Caterham Seven, the Mono was already sleek. And using the design DNA from the Mono R has made it sleeker. The centrally mounted headlights skim the tarmac in the airspace between the even thinner undertray and the upper panels. The stuff in between, the suspension bits and bodywork struts, are visible but take a back seat to the smooth, clean bodywork. Out back, it’s all business, looking for all the world like an open-wheel race car save the well-contoured fenders hugging the tires.
BAC says it’s “visually lighter, cleaner, and more simplistic”—and that’s no empty boast. That’s exactly what it is. And it’s a less polarizing counterpoint to similar vehicles like the open-top KTM X-Bow (or even its new closed-top GTX variant). Perhaps for the best, from an appearance standpoint, it lacks the R’s massive, podlike side intake. But its front fenders, and its cooling side pods, are both more efficient thanks to design work done for the R.
While the previous car used a Cosworth-massaged, Ford-derived 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder, the new Mono switches to a Mountune-developed turbocharged 2.3-liter mill that pumps out 332 horsepower, 27 hp more than the old unit. The new engine is oiled by a dry sump system, which has an added benefit of reducing the center of gravity. BAC hasn’t yet stated how much weight the new engine and its turbo plumbing add, but the Mono’s overall weight has been reduced by 22 pounds.
Considering that the new BAC Mono weighs 1,257 pounds, that weight loss is significant. BAC put the Mono on a diet that includes lighter wheels, lighter AP Racing calipers (or lighter-still carbon-ceramic units), and so forth. BAC credits its partnership with Autodesk, a 3D-design software company, for finding places to trim pounds in this already bantamweight car.
Two-way adjustable Öhlins dampers and custom-composition Pirelli Trofeo R tires assist the Mono in the corners, and while the company doesn’t provide a lateral-g estimate, you can safely assume it’ll rearrange your insides. Top speed is in the “I wish I had a windshield” range at 170 mph; 60 mph is dispatched in a claimed 2.7 seconds.
BAC will charge those in the U.K. £165,950 to start for the privilege of owning such elegant minimalism—that’s about $211,000 at today’s exchange rates, a smidge over what we’d last heard a Mono cost in the United States. All indications are the company will continue to offer it in America, as well as expanding to new countries in the future.
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