If you’re happy never, ever carrying a passenger, the BAC Mono is the most affordable way to buy a new sports car with a centrally-mounted driving position. A sports car that puts you slap bang in the middle of the action, letting you live out your single-seater racer dreams. Tempting, no?
And now, with over 100 examples of the first Mono sold, the next-generation version is here. It’s not entirely new, with the Mono R’s carbon fibre floor pan retained, but on paper, it’s better in every single way.
First up, we have to take a look at the engine. Effective though the old car’s Cosworth Duratec engine might have been, it wasn’t exactly the freshest powerplant. In its place here is a 2.3-litre Ford Ecoboost engine, tweaked by renown Blue Oval fettlers Mountune to produce 332bhp and 295lb ft of torque. Those are increases of 27bhp and 68lb ft on the old power unit, respectively.
Built with the prolific use of graphene-enhanced carbon fibre, it’s 10kg lighter than the outgoing model, contributing to an 11 per cent increase in power-to-weight ratio. The new figure is a frankly bananas 582bhp per tonne. 0-62mph takes 2.7 seconds, and if you keep going long enough, the Mono will hit 170mph. Best wear a helmet before attempting that - the Mono is still very much an open-cockpit car.
Although it looks relatively similar to the old car, the bodywork has been comprehensively tweaked. It’s 20mm lower and 25mm longer than the car it replaces, and around 40 of the components that go into its construction have been 3D printed.
As before, the Mono has a motorsport-style inboard ‘pushrod’ damper setup, with the two-way shocks themselves supplied by Ohlins. When it comes to slowing down, you can call upon the same mighty AP Racing brakes that were fitted to the Mono R.
So, just how attainable is the most affordable sports car with a central driving position? Not very, is the answer - you’ll need to stump up £165,950. But still, that’s a lot less than a McLaren Speedtail or a Czinger 21C. So in relative terms, a bargain.
The new BAC Mono is on sale now, although first deliveries won’t kick off until summer 2021.