One of the quickest, and certainly most focused, road cars ever to take on the Goodwood hill, the BAC Mono is back at the Festival of Speed this weekend, with a big surprise up its sleeve – a new engine with even more power than before.
The Liverpool-based Briggs Automotive Company launched the first Mono at FoS in 2011, and since then it has been acclaimed as the nearest thing to a ‘formula’ car for the road that you can get.
Now this weekend BAC is back at the Festival to take on the hill with its 2016 version. Officially still under wraps as this is written, GRR wanted to know more so we called by the stand to talk to founding partner Ian Briggs (shown above with the new car) and get a sneak peak ahead of its dynamic debut.
The Mono for 2016 eschews Cosworth power for a Mountune version of Ford’s 2.5-litre Duratec four-cylinder engine. Power? 300bhp, up 20bhp on the outgoing model. And still no turbos in sight: ‘We are holding on to normally-aspirated engines for as long as we can,’ Ian tells us.
Power-to-weight is of course the key thing with the BAC Mono, and by tipping the scales at just 580kg the new new Mono boasts a healthy 517bhp per tonne. That’s close to Bugatti Veyron territory.
According to BAC’s test and development driver Oli Webb, the result is an electrifying drive that can embarrass all manner of more expensive machinery.
‘We have done some private testing at the Hungaroring and it was nine and a half seconds quicker there than Porsche GT3 and Ferrari 458 Speciale. And four seconds quicker than the McLaren P1.’
Impressive for sure, but we presume that’s with Oli (2014 European Le Mans LMP2 champion) behind the wheel…
On looks (car pictured above and below is the original model) the new car gets a mild facelift, says Ian Briggs, and other upgrades that include made-to-measure moulded seats (and steering wheel!) for every owner. That’s all part of a bespoke new approach that also includes personalised race suits and crash helmets.
All will be revealed over the course of the weekend – apart from one thing: alas this year the new Mono is not part of the timed runs.
Says Ian: ‘We are more than happy to have the car timed, in fact we’d bite your hand off to be allowed to do so. With this new car and Oli driving we would happily go up against anything going up the hill, road or race car.’
Boosting performance is not the only thing that BAC is proving adept at. Since the car was launched at Goodwood in 2011 30 Monos have been built, and the firm has just signed a deal for 100 cars for the US market over the next four years.
In the UK the new car costs £110,000 – but you’ll have to be quick. BAC is holding that (old model) price only for cars ordered during FoS.
You heard it here first!