Enthusiasts the world over dream of designing and building their own car. What set the Cheshire-born brothers Neill and Ian Briggs apart from most, is that they had the automotive qualifications and experience to do just that, and put the result into production for others to enjoy – enter the BAC MONO.
MONO (as in monoposto, or single seat) was designed to bring formula race car levels of handling, performance and thrill to the public road, but it’s also the perfect trackday tool, racing school car, one-make series racer, etc. At 520 bhp / ton, its power to weight ratio surpasses that of the Bugatti Veyron and it can accelerate to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, 100 mph in 6.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 170 mph. The car is also an object of engineering perfection and desire, courtesy of the Briggs brothers’ 15 years experience of the motor industry, during which time they’ve handled design and engineering consultancy projects for the likes of Ford Motor Company, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, through their company Adaptive Space.
Of British conception, MONO combines the very best of all automotive worlds. Its aerodynamics were optimised using CFD in partnership with Stuttgart University, while its list of suppliers reads like a Who’s Who of the international motorsport industry. The vehicle is constructed in carbon fibre with a tubular steel driver safety cell, complete with FIA-compliant roll over protection system – similar in concept to a DTM race car. Power comes from a 280 bhp, normally-aspirated 2.3-litre Cosworth unit mounted longitudinally and mated to an electronically-controlled, paddle-shift, six-speed sequential Hewland transmission with limited-slip differential. The rose-jointed, aero profiled pushrod suspension features adjustable Sachs Racing dampers derived from the heat of competition. The braking is by AP Racing, the bespokeHRT alloy wheels by OZ Racing, the purpose-developed, street-legal track tyres by Kumho, and the vehicle electronics and instrumentation by GEMS.
The driver is secured by a full six-point racing harness by Willans and there is a secure locker in which to store a helmet and the detachable steering wheel when parked. The seat is fixed for safety and optimum weight distribution (48/52 front to rear), and drivers of varying shapes and sizes can be readily accommodated thanks to the fully adjustable pedal box and steering column that can be altered for both height and rake. There is even the option of an F1-style fully-profiled seat.
Said Ian Briggs (BAC stands for Briggs Automotive Company): “MONO is the culmination of a 12-year dream for us – the car we wanted to own but nobody else made.” Neill Briggs added: “All cars are built to order on a first-come, first-served basis and our flexible production facility has the capacity to manufacture between 50 and 100 vehicles per year – or more if demand requires. All I can currently say is, the early response has been extremely encouraging.”