How can you improve on something that is already so damn good? BAC invited us to Liverpool to find out.

Back in August this year, Beau and I had the pleasure of getting up close to the freshly launched BAC Mono R. The stats and pictures that came with the press launch had made us more than curious about this evolution of their one-seater. To highlight the differences, the press officer Stuart rolled the ‘old’ model and the Mono R next to each other and called in Senior Designer Guy Harvey, to point out the differences.

Just looking at the press images doesn’t do the evolution of the Mono R any justice, that became clear to moment the cars aligned. No single panels look the same and Guy said that it was true. Every panel has evolved to facilitate a form of gain, be it to increase aerodynamics or to increase overall ergonomics. The first mentioned can be seen at the front end of the car, and even shows for the light units. The indicators are now incorporated into the other units. Thus reducing the frontal surface. Around the engine you’ll find the ergonomic increase. Here the panels are made up in smaller pieces than before. This means that they allow for easier access to the engine. Less labor time for maintenance, something useful when a small brand is starting to sell more and more units.

Carbon breakthrough

Something else that was truly remarkable was their newest development in carbon fiber. Every piece of carbon fiber on the car has been enhanced with graphene. The added benefits are that you’re getting a stronger fiber composite whilst also reducing the weight of the panels. In the front there’s this little tray to keep a few items and you can take it out. Just holding the tray from the first Mono and then holding the graphene tray blows your mind how light carbon fiber actually can get.

Move to the middle of the car and you can’t miss out on the Formula 3 style intake. But peer towards the headrest and you’ll see the intake gap isn’t there anymore. This had everything to do with heat from the engine accumulating there, causing the intake air to heat up. Something you don’t want. So whilst looking insanely cool, the air intake is also there to support the added performance with cooler air. It’ll be interesting to hear the induction sound coming from this sucker (of air that is).

Move your eyes to the back part of the Mono R and you’ll see the cooling gaps have increased too. The Mono R needs the cooling to accommodate for the power increase. This is now the highest specific output naturally aspirated engine with 136 hp per liter. A Ferrari 458 Speciale is only able to pull out 133 hp per liter.
I’ll say it again: the evolution is everywhere.

It doesn’t stop there though…

Peer into the cabin and you’ll find that there’s been an overhaul here too. A new steering wheel more ergonomically placed switches and a higher quality seat. The coolest thing, pun intended, is the fire extinguisher switch. As the engine has its system that at the flick of a switch, covers the engine in fire-extinguishing foam.

New panels hug the side of the Mono R, allowing for better airflow to and past the radiators on each side. Move further back along the graphite infused carbon and you’ll find a reworked rear wing under which there’s also new light units. And yes, these yet again have less drag than the old ones. The same can be said for the third brake light. It’s now housed in a shell that runs smoothly away from the engine.

A truly passionate team

It was obvious Guy and Stuart had a pleasure showing us around the car, a testimony to the passion they have over at BAC. Each detail was pointed out and shown to us. For every question we asked, they immediately had an answer. These guys are motivated in a way we simply don’t see in big brands. That motivation makes for something unique and gives them seemingly superpowers. Why? Guy casually mentioned that they designed and developed the Mono R in 6 months, working 14 hours, 7 days a week.

We would like the thank BAC, Guy Harvey and also the press guy Stuart Newman for this opportunity. We have one more article coming up about the factory tour we got, expect that to land somewhere in October. It involves ice cream.