Harris gets to grips with the mad-looking BAC Mono and is something of a fan
We've driven the BAC Mono quite extensively already, both on road and on the track, the latter in the hands of my colleague Steve Sutcliffe. Anyone expecting me to quell his almost gushing positivity towards the Mono is sadly going to be disappointed. I thought it was pretty damned marvellous.
All that effort engineering a grippy chassis...
Many people rather lazily refer to machinery of this type as 'track' cars. Of course the Mono is designed to be driven on a circuit, but its £80,000-plus price tag leaves it open to comparison with all manner of dedicated track tackle, and it can't compete with the wings'n'slicks brigade. Even so, it offers a fascinating driving experience.
The Mono, like the Atom, the Caterham and the X-Bow, is an experience car. It's as much about the sensation of driving it, as the speed with which it can complete a lap.
It's a high quality item. Build on this car - the first customer car delivered to RS Academy is of a very high standard. It has two cars, both of which are available for hire. Much as I love the looks of the Ariel, this is now my favourite piece of naked Brit car-design. The way you can peer through those front apertures is endlessly enjoyable.
Like an F1 car but you can drive it to the shops
It's powered by a 2.3-litre, 280hp Duratec and weighs 540kg. The day I drove it the Midlands was wetter than a fish's swimming cossie, but then I suppose you only really learn about a car's intrinsic balance in those conditions.
The other thing you learn is that the specific frequency of a Hewland FTR gearbox does something bizarre to a Sennheiser radio-microphone: hence the subtitles.