Arts & Design

The tech behind the world’s most customized car: BAC Mono

Z by HP and BAC’s partnership enables the custom automaker to create and deliver bespoke, single-seater supercars that are as one-of-a-kind as their driver.

By Jeff Wise — December 8, 2022

When Ian Briggs and his brother Neill were working for leading automobile manufacturers in Europe, helping them build world-class vehicles, they realized that every car on the road had trade-offs: performance or utility, safety or sleekness. What if, they wondered, they were to build a car that embodied an uncompromising, monomaniacal devotion to maximal driving thrills?

In 2009 the two Brits formed the Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) in Liverpool and set about making their perfect automobile. The result is the BAC Mono, the only single-seat supercar in the world, a vehicle that is truly one-of-a-kind.


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Sleek, low, with lines that echo the Batmobile (if the Dark Knight’s ride were restyled as a spacecraft), the Mono is hand-constructed and bespoke, much like a Savile Row suit. Almost everything about it can be personalized, from individual color schemes to the single-seat, made-to-measure cockpit with pedals, seat, and steering wheel molded to the owner’s body and hand grip. With 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds, the $210,000-plus supercar is as fast as it looks, and offers the closest experience to driving a Formula 1 racing car on the street.

“What differentiates Mono as a product from another car is that it has not been designed as a means of transport,” Ian Briggs says. “It’s been designed like a piece of equipment for an extreme sport.”

WATCH: BAC transforms custom car design

A big part of what makes the Mono possible is its designers’ use of HP technologies, from Z by HP high-performance workstations to Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing tech, which allows BAC designers and engineers to customize parts to an almost infinite degree.

“These guys are at the pinnacle of car design, and their design and engineering teams are amazing,” says Anthony Graves, HP Global Segment Lead for product design. “They’re an incredible development partner.”

Technology to get the Mono road-ready

By 2019 the company had built over a hundred cars for gearheads and celebrities such as Hell’s Kitchen star chef Gordon Ramsay. But the Briggs brothers weren’t satisfied. Every Mono car starts out as a collection of detailed computer-aided design files that are made “real” for the customer via photorealistic images that help the buyer picture every detail of how their vehicle will look, down to the shade of cherry red on a rearview mirror. In designing each customized vehicle, they were pushing the limits of their computer and manufacturing system.

“We had to leave the machines rendering overnight to get any kind of high-quality images,” Ian Briggs says. They realized they needed more powerful tech at their disposal.

The Briggses found it by taking their operations end-to-end with HP, a transition that transformed every aspect of BAC’s work at its headquarters.


The new BAC Mono R model houses the highest output for a road-legal car.

A series of 55 steps over the course of about six weeks are required before each car is assembled, tested, and shipped. This intensive process is made more efficient by several HP technologies, including HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers and a suite of Z by HP devices: the Z2 Mini, Z2 Tower, and Z8 desktop workstations; and ZBook Firefly, ZBook Studio, and ZBook Fury laptop workstations.

The system operates seamlessly across multiple software applications, allowing for greater flexibility and interactivity, and most importantly, time savings. For a process called ray tracing—a rendering technique that can produce incredibly realistic lighting effects on a 3D model—what used to take eight hours for a handful of images can be done in under 10 minutes.

“HP’s experience working with BAC is helping us to build the next generation of technology,” says Graves.

The car fits the driver, not the other way around

Creating photorealistic visualizations is a top priority for BAC, because it lets customers vividly experience the different customization options on offer. HP Reverb G2 VR headsets allow designers and customers to experience the car in three dimensions—before it’s built. BAC also uses AR to help picture how the car will look in a garage at home.


The custom features available for drivers include the outer skin design of the supercar.

Additionally, about half of the parts that are 3D printed for the Mono are made with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology, including shift paddles on the steering column and parts that house the mirrors and front and rear lights.

“3D printing is a game changer for modeling and prototyping,” says race car fabricator Don Breslauer. “You don’t need a lathe or mill or any high-accuracy machining tools, and you can make pieces that are incredibly precise. It’s the way of the future.”

Vehicles for the rest of us

As a luxury car, the Mono is a world away from the mass-produced vehicles that most of us drive, but it’s a glimpse into a future we might all share. As digital design and production tools become ever more sophisticated and widespread, manufacturers will be increasingly empowered to let consumers customize and visualize their vehicles before they’re built.

“More and more people want personalization,” says Ian Briggs. He points out that among BAC competitors — Porsche, McLaren, Ferrari — all offer special vehicles with bespoke details. “This kind of computing power is essential in being able to modify the design data for each individual car.” That could mean changing the color of individual panels, switching a gloss finish to matte, or including a customer’s logo.

As computer-aided design and 3D printing technology advance, designers’ imaginations will face ever fewer constraints. That means that the wild vision made real by Ian and Neill Briggs is just a taste of what’s to come. Says HP’s Graves: “You’re going to see the craziest stuff.”


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