Vijay Pattni01 November 2013

Magnum Mk5: Canada’s BAC Mono

What’s this all aboot? New 250bhp, lightweight, rev-hungry track-day tool arrives

460bhp per tonne. 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. A top speed of 150mph and over 2g of lateral cornering force. Enough fastness, then, to outpace even the sprightliest grizzly bear. Meet Canada's latest trackday lightweight, the Magnum Mk5.

It's made by a man named Bruno, whose father Jean-Pierre built Magnum's first formula racer in the late 1960s. This MK5, then, has been a long time coming. It's built for the track but is actually street-legal, much like our favourite lung-crusher, the BAC Mono. Size-wise, think a slightly swollen Lotus Elise.

The Magnum MK5 features a mid-mounted 250bhp four-cylinder engine that revs to a dizzy 11,000rpm - that'll be a bike engine, then - that feeds the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox activated by a centre-mounted shifter. There's also a limited slip differential, and F1-style pushrod suspension with two-way adjustable dampers front and rear. 

A weight of just 545kg results in that healthy power-to-weight ratio, and reduces the strain on those four-piston calipers and ventilated discs - complete with a custom pedal box and cockpit-adjustable brake bias, hidden under 18-inch lightweight alloys.

There's functional aero on the carbon fibre composite bodywork, while inside you get racing carbon fibre seats, six-point harnesses and a suede-wrapped steering wheel with GPS with mounted lap-timer. Serious stuff.

Prices start at 139,000 US dollars excluding taxes and delivery, which is just over £86k before you add VAT. That's a lot more than an Ariel Atom but a lot less than a BAC Mono.

So. Over the years we have witnessed many ambitious attempts to nail the lightweight track day formula. Most have failed spectacularly: the Mono, X-Bow and Atom are the exceptions, not the rule. Reckon the Magnum MK5 stands a chance?

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