Race cars… for the road???
Formula One. Race oriented vehicles flying around corners at speeds unfathomable to the human mind. After watching one of these said races, the first thing one desires is to drive one of these crazy vehicles. Unfortunately they aren’t road legal… or for sale. But two companies have created cars (for lack of a better term) that come close. The BAC Mono and Ariel Atom V8 are two closest things to a street legal Formula One car, and here we have the comparison of the two.
Let’s start with BAC, or Briggs Automotive Company. The Briggs Automotive Company is new, founded in 2009, and was created by brothers Ian and Neill Briggs in Liverpool. They made their first car (the Mono) in 2011 and debuted it at the Retro Classics show in Germany. The Mono took the world by a silent storm, and it was featured in many video games (like Need For Speed) on was on many car-based television shows (like Top Gear). As of now, the Mono is the only car produced by BAC, and they continue to produce the Mono. If you wanted one new, the price would be a cool $200,000. If you don’t feel like paying the new price, here you can find a used BAC Mono for sale here in the US.
Now Ariel, or formally Ariel Motor Company, is the veteran in the race-car-yet-street-legal car segment. It was founded in 1991 by Simon Saunders in the United Kingdom. The company produces two cars; the Atom and the Nomad. The Ace and HIPERCAR are two of their concepts to be produced at later dates. The first and original car was though the Atom, and over the years the car has gotten some trim updates like the Atom 500 V8, 3.5R, 4, and many other names. Like the Mono, the Atom took the world by a bit of a larger storm as it was the first of its kind. It was the closest thing one could get to a race car, and suddenly it was available to the public. Since then it has turned heads and set lap records across the world. Now, like the Mono, if you wanted to buy one new the price would be $200,000. If used is more your option here is one that costs just under 170,000 pounds in the UK.
|Ariel Atom 500||BAC Mono|
|Top Speed (1pt)||168 mph||170 mph|
|0-60 Time (1pt)||2.3 secs||2.8 secs|
|Weight (1pt)||1,213 lbs||1,190 lbs|
|Horsepower (1pt)||500 hp||285 hp|
|Safety (1pt)||Non Existent||Non Existent|
|MPG (.5 pt)||~25 mpg (estimate)||~37 mpg (estimate)|
|Visual Effect (.5 pt)||Go Kart on Steroids||No Go Kart, All Track Look|
Well… the numbers speak for themselves. As far as performance goes the Ariel Atom 500 probably takes the cake, with almost 2 times the horsepower and a 0-60 sprint that rivals the likes of Bugatti and Koenigsegg. But somehow (with 4 less cylinders) the BAC Mono holds its own, topping out 2 mph faster than the Atom, and weighing 23 pounds less than it. Where the Mono wins is the Visual and Efficiency categories. It looks simply fantastic, it doesn’t have the Go Kart look the Ariel iconically displays. It looks like something that will be driven in the Monaco Grand Prix. And the fuel efficiency is a given, with 4 less cylinders it boasts a nice 37 miles to the gallon. But let’s be honest… at $200,000 for each, we are still stuck dreaming of driving these race machines. But we just got a bit closer.
Bottom Line: Both are insane, but the Mono looks the part.