Jay Leno hits the road in the BAC Mono

For anyone looking for the closest thing to a street-legal formula race car that money can buy, the answer is the BAC Mono.

The single-seat roadster has been on sale since 2012, and is currently into its second generation. Jay Leno recently got acquainted with the car, and had company co-founder Ian Briggs on hand to explain the ins and outs.

BAC was founded by brothers Ian and Neill Briggs in Liverpool, U.K., and the latest version of the their car is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 that generates a peak of 315 hp as standard and 343 hp in Mono R guise. The mid-mounted engine is mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission and spins the rear wheels only.

Thanks to a curb weight of less than 1,300 pounds, the relatively low power output still results in a power-to-weight ratio better than any hypercar on the road today. As a result, the Mono can lap many racetracks faster than any hypercar, too.

Despite the extreme nature of the car, the Briggs brothers and their team were able to get the design homologated for road use. This was no easy task, as Ian Briggs explains to Leno in the video above. One of the biggest challenges, he explains, was getting the car to meet pedestrian crash safety requirements while keeping its design intact.

Pricing for the Mono in the U.S. starts at about $300,000 for the standard model, and $335,000 if opting for the lighter, more powerful Mono R.

For owners who regularly track their Monos and might be itching to try their hand at racing, BAC plans to establish a one-make series around the Mono. The series will initially be held in West Asia, including at many of the Formula 1 racetracks in the region, and an expansion to other regions hasn’t been ruled out, should the series take off.

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