Sam Philip29 December 2011

TG Awards 2011: Stig's car of the year

This isn't another built-in-a-shed tin can promising the world, this is real. This is the BAC Mono

The path is well trodden: unknown British car manufacturer builds a lightweight track special with "Veyron-rivalling acceleration" and "race-car thrills". Said lightweight turns out to be built in a garden shed from recovered girders and tin cans by a man with no welding skills. Or fingers.

Not the BAC Mono. This single-seater, dreamt up by brothers Neill and Ian Briggs, is a sculpture of engineering, a miniature masterpiece of exposed carbon fibre and metal and poo-proof Alcantara, all cocooned about a 2.3-litre Cosworth race engine. This is the smartest bit of British sports-car design since the Ariel Atom 15 years ago.

Top Gear drives the BAC Mono

Smart design would count for nothing if the Mono was rubbish to drive. It isn't. It's sublime. Mere mortals will appreciate not only the blinding pace, but also the potential to discover the Mono's limits without being spat into a field. Stig, so far as we could tell, appreciated the Mono's massless, Tron-lightcycle direction changes, brutal gunfire gearchanges through the sequential 'box, smart chassis and, of course, the lack of a passenger seat. This is the ultimate antisocial racer for the ultimate antisocial racer.

Read this and much much more in our huge new Awards issue of TopGear magazine, on sale now

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