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BAC launches new Mono R

620hp-per-tonne and the highest naturally aspirated specific output of any road car. Seriously

By Dafydd Wood / Thursday, July 04, 2019

Things have been ticking over rather nicely at Briggs Automotive Company lately. A distribution deal with H.R. Owen ought to have added to the 70 cars it had sold across 29 countries when we last checked in and, even eight years after launch, the Mono still remains a cut above any of its rivals. But you know what they say about striking while the iron’s hot, and so BAC will be heading to this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed with a new model, set to improve further still upon its unique single-seater formula. 

The Mono R is described as a “higher-performance, lighter and more advanced GEN2 Mono single-seater”. It uses the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder Mountune engine as its predecessor, albeit with an increased cylinder bore size and reduced crankshaft stroke to optimise power and torque delivery. A Formula-inspired ram-air inlet has sprouted from the side, providing pressurised air into the all-new throttle body and cylinder head, while the redline has increased from 7,800 to 8,800rpm. 

All of which means that, where the standard car produces a more than reasonable 309hp, the R boasts 345hp, bestowing it with the highest naturally-aspirated specific output of any road-legal car. Ever. Weight is down too, by 25kg to just 555kg thanks to world-first graphene-enhanced carbon body panels, meaning power-to-weight stands at a staggering 620hp-per-tonne. A higher-spec drive-by-wire motor allows for a quicker throttle response, though with 0-62mph falling to just 2.5 seconds, we imagine it feels plenty sharp already. Top speed rather sensibly remains at 170mph. 

Just 30 Mono Rs are set to be built, with the entire production run having been exclusively available to existing BAC customers - before it sold out, that was, which is already has. At £190,950 a piece. Don’t worry if you missed out, though, BAC describes the car’s design as “setting the precedent for future Monos”, meaning plenty of what you see here ought to trickle down over the coming years. 

To that end, a brand new approach to body engineering has seen all surfaces re-designed from scratch, with forty-four bespoke carbon parts being restyled to give the car a “more aggressive, organic and futuristic stance.” Reductions in height and length of 20 and 25mm respectively are mirrored by a slimmer upper body design, thinner technical surfaces and LED headlights centrally mounted on the car’s “shark nose”, all contributing to more efficient aerodynamics as well as a more minimalist appearance. 

There are more efficient front arches, wider sidepods and a larger rear spoiler, along with twin-strut wing mirrors, a new rear crash box and a narrower tail incorporating combination fog and reverse LED lights. Magnesium chassis and transmission components combine to reduce mass and improve weight distribution, new standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes save 2.55kg of unsprung mass per corner, there’s a new titanium exhaust system, lighter AP Racing calipers and an all-new carbon floor, too. Inside, meanwhile, the Mono R sports a lighter steering wheel and optional carbon side panels. It may look familiar, but a lot has changed, basically. 

Even the fuel tank has increased in volume and been lowered, while the battery has been repositioned beneath the driver for optimum balance and weight distribution. Suspension geometry has then been optimised to reduce pitch under braking, two-way adjustable Ohlins dampers feature for the first time and specially-homologated Pirelli Trofeo R tyres are fitted as standard. It should be a hell of a thing. 

BAC Design Director, Ian Briggs, said of the model’s progression: “Today marks a monumental step in the history of Briggs Automotive Company. Not only have we become a multi-product brand for the first time, but we’ve done so with a truly remarkable feat of engineering, design and innovation in the Mono R. It’s the first time since we first laid plans for Mono a decade ago that we’ve designed something brand new – and that’s testament to the success of the business and Mono that we’ve reached this point. Mono R has been many, many years in the making, with thousands upon thousands of hours of research and work going into it – and we believe we’ve found the perfect formula for creating the most extreme Mono in the flesh and under the skin.” We can’t wait to have a go!

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