New BAC Mono gets official debut

Like a Mono but more so, latest BAC supercar promises 'a sublime balance of extremes'

By Matt Bird / Friday, 18 August 2023 / Loading comments

The BAC story goes back a good few years now, the company having first been formed in 2009 – a decade and a half ago, pretty much – and the original Monos driven in 2011. Since then there’s been the Mono R for those really, really committed to driving utopia, plus the snowballing expansion of the business: BAC exports about 80 per cent of what it makes to 45 countries on five continents. But time waits for no company in the track car game, and that includes BAC. Hence the debut of this at Monterey Car Week, the new Mono – a single seater described as ‘poised, powerful and uncompromised.’

And yes, this is a new car, before you get all picky in the comments. A rework was always going to be difficult for BAC, given the Mono established a design identity all for itself the second it was unveiled. Even in a busy market, there is nothing quite like it and it would be daft to junk that heritage with no guarantee of similar success. So this new car benefits from an ‘evolved aesthetic treatment’ derived from the design language first seen on the R. The front end is familiar (particularly the lights), yet every panel has been honed to benefit aero and there’s a dramatic new spoiler at the rear to distinguish this as something new. This is quite clearly a Mono, yes, but it also doesn’t take long to identify the differences.

“The launch of the new Mono is a pivotal milestone for BAC,” noted co-founder and design director, Ian Briggs. “Its proposition is different to that of Mono R but for its visual identity we wanted to forge a connection between the siblings that positioned them side by side on the one-seater supercar spectrum. With a more rounded aesthetic form, the Mono delivers that objective impeccably, evolving our current design language to reflect a more contemporary outlook.” What he said. 

The engine will be familiar to BAC aficionados, too, given it’s a 2.5-litre four-cylinder paired with a six-speed sequential. But as with the entire package, it’s been refined and optimised for this latest model. With the aim of delivering peak performance ‘no matter what driving environment the Mono encounters’, there are forged pistons, forced con-rods, new cams, better valve springs, individual throttle bodies and a sexy new carbon airbox. So along with what must be a rousing four-cylinder rasp to 8,000rpm, there’s 311hp and 231lb ft to move just 570kg. So that’s 546hp per tonne, with a 41:59 front-to-rear weight distribution, and 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds. Almost as fast as all the multi-million-pound EVs on show at Monterey, and probably a fair bit more exciting.

It’s in the chassis and suspension though that the real advancements appear to have been made, with BAC’s proprietary damping and double wishbone setup said to have enjoyed radical evolution over the last decade. So the promise now is of 50 per cent more anti-dive on the front and 50 per cent more anti-squat out back, which ought to further improve body control. Not something a Mono was lacking before. Moreover, revisions to the springs and dampers promise to make the BAC even better to drive on road or track.

The perfect car for a Laguna Seca track day as well as canyon crushing, then. In all seriousness, though, if this is a Mono that can further improve both the circuit and street performance of the old car then BAC will have something even more special on its hands. As before, customers will be able to configure a Mono to their specific requirements, including altering fundamentals like gear ratios and getting slicks or wets as well as a standard Pirelli Trofeo R, on top of the usual bespoke elements. It’s certainly an approach that customers are buying into, with orders having already been taken ahead of the unveil and the first delivery due immediately after Monterey as BAC embarks on further global expansion. Best of British to you, folks.

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