Stand out at any price – How To Cars
Sports cars should have some degree of everyday usability, that’s in the nature of things. On the one hand, the proud owner of such a car also wants to move the good piece away from the circuit, on the other hand, it’s quite nice if at least the shopping bags with everyday items can be stowed away. The BAC Mono R is far from both. Even if it comes to Germany in 2023 as a road-legal Mono F.
A four-cylinder turbo engine instead of the sucker
Apart from the fact that the purist introduced by the Briggs brothers in 2011 as the Mono F uses a four-cylinder turbo engine instead of the four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine in order to meet the Euro 6 standard, only the invisible has changed. Precisely those details that make the Mono even more suitable for the racetrack. But if such an exotic is soon offered for the street, then of course a serious attempt must be made to move with the British right there.
Since a Mono F is unfortunately not yet available, we want to take the Mono R to the country road. Because our test vehicle can be driven on the road in Germany because it is registered in England. So it drives in this country with a road registration from the United Kingdom.
But before that happens, the steering wheel has to be removed like in a formula car. This is the only way for the driver to slide into the firmly integrated carbon shell. Deeply absorbed, the pilot then realizes that he can see neither the road nor the beginning of the car. The view to the rear is also quite limited with the narrow exterior mirrors. Even reaching the pedals is difficult, because the test car’s seat was apparently built for someone with longer legs than the author.
But whatever? Slightly pressed into the hollow back, the calf muscles brought under tension and the clutch and brake pedal can be operated with some effort. In order to start the car, the transponder must be in the right-hand zipped pocket of the interior paneling and the ignition must be activated using the main switch. Only now can the thick, centrally placed start button on the steering wheel be pressed.
What follows is not for the faint of heart. With a brief cough, the Mono R’s 340 hp, 2.3-litre, four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine (weighs just 555 kg) comes to life and roars incessantly at the bystanders from two tailpipes placed in the middle of the rear, while the rocket-like airbox roars wildly behind it shoveling air. Anyone who wants to quickly escape the impending trouble due to a disturbance of the peace will be taught a lesson.
As long as no operating temperature has been reached, the gears of the sequential transmission, which shifts over six stages, have to be engaged using the clutch and steering wheel rocker. This is only possible for level one and reverse gear if the idle button is also pressed. Once first gear has engaged under a hard blow not unlike that of ironwork, the wild ride can begin.
However, more in thought, because the 2.7 seconds that the Mono R needs in the best case for the standard sprint simply cannot be driven in public transport. Not to mention the 270 km/h that BAC advertises as the top speed in the data sheet. Furthermore, the work on the clutch, brakes and the servo-free steering prove to be a good substitute for the muscle training of the coming days.
And while the driver steels his muscles, the engine craves revs thanks to the lack of a mass flywheel. If he doesn’t get it, the carbon booth starts jumping like a donkey bitten by a tarantula.
Like jelly in the washing machine
In any case, the driver – inserted in his seat shell – feels like a jelly that has been forgotten on the washing machine in the spin cycle. It’s at its worst at 4000rpm. The vibrations get into the body so much that Mono and Pilot start coughing in competition. The only remedy is to let the clutch slip a bit, go up the next gear or drive on the attack, which works best on halfway clear country roads – or on the racetrack.
Because that’s exactly where the Mono R is at home, and that’s where the driver gets a feel for the assistance-free steering. Now the gears are no longer engaged by the clutch pedal, but pneumatically by the transmission control unit within 35 milliseconds at just under 9000 revolutions of the crankshaft.
With these impressions and the acoustics, the driver is then very close to the formula feeling. Each shift is now like a hammer on the anvil, the carbon airbox mimics the launch of a space rocket, and the engine screeches as if it were its job to catapult the whole thing into orbit.
Of course, the Mono R doesn’t take off. The Briggs paid too much attention to the fact that the chassis geometry was correct. The inclination when braking has been reduced to a minimum. In addition, there is a manually adjustable traction control and Öhlins dampers that can be adjusted on both sides. The streamlined body, a closed underbody, the wing profiles in the front air ducts and the double diffuser at the rear also contribute to the Mono R’s enormous stability.
A hyper go-kart for at least 250,000 euros
In this respect, the Briton with the shark nose can be forced around the hairpin bends of the Hockenheimring incredibly precisely and quickly. And somehow the driver has the feeling of sitting in a hyper go-kart. If you step on the gas pedal correctly when sprinting out of the curve, you will be rewarded with a powerful blow to the back of your head against the well-padded carbon seat shell and a record-breaking acceleration. As the number of laps increases, a close relationship develops between the Mono R and the driver – and the single-seater starts to be really fun.
The price that BAC is asking for the Mono is anything but fun. Almost 250,000 euros are due for the premium go-kart stuffed with Formula 3 technology. And this does not include all the intricacies of the painting or the carbon accessories. The street-legal Mono F is actually a bit cheaper. Only 215,000 euros would have to be transferred to the Dörr Group, which sells the British in Germany.