BAC has updated its Mono supercar for 2020. And while it looks similar, BAC has gone through its road-legal single-seater with a fine-tooth comb. The result promises to be even more focused and exciting.
The Mono was always a very single-minded machine, and the refreshed car sticks to that philosophy, improving on it where possible. Progress here means a little more power, no added weight, less frontal area and reduced visual mass.
If the first Mono already looked lean, this one appears primed for track-day action. The figures suggest as much. It will reach 170mph, hitting 60mph in 2.7 seconds along the way.
2020 BAC Mono: honing the concept
Weight drops by 10kg to just 570kg. This, in spite of more going on under the skin to make it meet European regulations. How does the Mono stop red tape from weighing it down? Innovation.
New wheels save 1.22kg of unsprung mass each, and are 35 percent lighter than those on the outgoing Mono. AP Racing brake calipers are carried over from the special edition Mono R, while carbon-ceramic discs save 2.55kg of weight per corner.
The new car also uses graphene-enhanced carbon fibre, a breakthrough made via BAC’s research and development projects. It represents a structural, mechanical, thermal and mass improvement versus ‘normal’ carbon for every piece of the car.
Additive manufacturing is also used extensively used on the Mono, with more than 40 components being 3D-printed.
The weight has been shifted around in the car, too. A new dry-sump oil system gets the engine’s mass lower down, as does a lowered fuel tank. Even the battery has been placed under the driver, to achieve what BAC describes as ‘near-perfect’ weight distribution.
The car features two-way adjustable Ohlins dampers to handle what little weight the Mono does still have in corners. Grip comes courtesy of special Pirelli Trofeo R tyres, a standard fitment to all Monos. For reference, these were an optional extra on the McLaren P1.
Mono gets boost
So with what little excess weight the original Mono had removed, and the rest repositioned, the next upgrade was more power. While 340hp sounds like a hot hatch number, it’s plenty in a car a third of the weight of a Ford Focus RS. It’s also more than 30hp healthier than the outgoing model, with an EU6D emissions-compliant 2.3-litre turbocharged engine.
Yes, for the first time, the Mono comes with a turbocharger. The new engine was developed by Mountune, including its dry-sump system.
Design: the Mono evolves
The Mono, much like the Ariel Atom, is very specific in its design brief. The way it looks is largely dictated by function, and what body panels it doesn’t need, rather than what can be restyled. Still, the new car enjoys a mild update.
In terms of dimensions, there is a change. It’s now 25mm longer and 20mm lower. Body surfaces have been completely redesigned, achieving ‘a more organic, lighter aesthetic’.
The ‘shark nose’ reduces frontal area and improves aerodynamics, plus it has new LED lighting. As does the rear, which is now narrower, while the larger spoiler extends over the wheelarches. These are more aerodynamically efficient and the side pods are wider, joining the spoiler from their introduction on the Mono R.
The idea of passing as much air through a car, rather than over it, is a popular aerodynamic ethos at the moment. The Ford GT, Honda NSX, various McLarens and Aston Martin Valkyrie all follow in the footsteps of the Mono in this respect.
The final number is the least appealing. That’s the price. If you’re sure you don’t want that Porsche 911 Turbo or McLaren 570S, the new Mono starts from £165,950. If you’re not UK-based, BAC also points out that the new Mono is fully road-legal across continental Europe and around the world.
2020 BAC Mono – the key figures
Top Speed: 170mph
0-60mph: 2.7 seconds
Power-to-Weight ratio: 582bhp per tonne
Price: From £165,950
“When it came to designing the new-generation BAC Mono, we didn’t just want to set a precedent for the evolution of Mono – we wanted to set a totally new bar for supercar design,” said Ian Briggs, design director at BAC.
“The flowing, functional shape that’s full of undeniable Mono DNA is lighter-looking, more simplistic and cleaner than ever before, with a reduced frontal area and thinner surfaces throughout. Making the second Mono was always going to be a challenge – much like the ever-anticipated second album of an artist – but we’re confident the stunning look, innovation and driving experience of the new BAC Mono will more than meet the demands and expectations.”