You can’t have the new, lighter, faster BAC Mono R | Top Gear
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Tuesday 21st March
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019

You can’t have the new, lighter, faster BAC Mono R

Sorry. The revamped single-seater is now way more extreme, but very sold out

Published: 04 Jul 2019

Only 30 examples of the BAC Mono R will ever be built, and despite the fact you’ve only known about the BAC Mono R for the last seven seconds, you can’t have one. All 30 are sold out. Unlucky.

People who bought the last Mono had a bit of a head-start on you, y’see. And when you see the spec of the latest one-seat rocket from Briggs Automotive Company, well, it’s not surprising that all were snapped up faster than warm confectionary.

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First, power. The 2.5-litre Ford engine has been boosted by a healthy 35bhp, so it now produces 340bhp. Now, 340bhp is enough to make a very serious hot hatch, but in a car than now weighs a little over a half a tonne, is truly biblical power. Oh, and the redline’s up from zingy 7,800rpm to a screaming  8,800rpm. Currently, 136bhp per litre is a world record for a naturally-aspirated road-legal car, says BAC.

Partly, the power increase comes from a reduced cylinder size, and a new, milled-from-billet crankshaft. Meanwhile, BAC says the new ram-air intake stuck to the engine bay also ups the motor’s output. We're starting to see why it’s sold out now.

Fancy some numbers? Try 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, 612bhp per tonne, and a very draughty top whack of some 170mph.

While the Mono R might not look all that different to the road-going racer we first saw back in 2011 – it’s now 25kg lighter thanks to carbon-ceramic brakes, a carbon floor, titanium exhaust and – get this – graphene-enhanced carbon fibre panels. BAC has been partnering with several firms to make sure graphene is a viable material to work with, and reckons the panels are not just lighter and stronger than regular carbon fibre, but have better thermal performance too.

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Elsewhere, components of the Mono R have been 3D printed, or fashioned from magnesium to save a few more precious grammes. It wears bespoke Pirelli tyres. And the Ohlins suspension has been retuned to keep the Mono more level. More level than what, the horizon? It hardly had body roll in the first place.

Under the surface, BAC has squeezed in a bigger fuel tank, so you can add more petrol to undo all of its hard work making the Mono R lighter. And the battery’s been shifted under the driver for better weight distribution. If you forget to empty your pockets before you get in, you’ll spoil the balance.

The price? Why torture yourself, you can’t have one. Each owner has shelled out a cool £190,950 for their Mono R. And remember, they already have a Mono to be going on with. We’re not jealous, honest.

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