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    NAA Member News: Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sample the BAC Mono

    Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have sampled the BAC Mono during a visit to the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI)…

    At the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI) on Friday 14 October, BAC founders Neill and Ian Briggs showcased the Mono supercar to Prince William and wife Kate Middleton.

    His Royal Highness Prince William even took to the cockpit of the British-built, single-seater Mono, which is constructed using the innovative and lightweight material graphene.

    In fact, it’s the first car in the world to use graphene in the production process, with a composite making up the rear wheel arches and providing weight-saving and body-strengthening benefits.

    BAC has enjoyed success all around the world and has exported its Mono supercar to 28 countries across five continents since its launch in 2011. Yet the brand remains proud of its British heritage and strives to use locally sourced parts in its production process.

    The Mono is built from 1,250 unique components from 100 suppliers, 95% of which are based in BAC’s homeland. Naturally, this drew plenty of interest from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were very impressed with the Mono and labelled it “amazing”.

    BAC Co-Founder and Director of Product Development Neill Briggs said: “It was truly an honour to meet Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and a particular privilege to seat Prince William inside the Mono. We are incredibly proud to be British, and to meet members of the Royal Family was a surreal experience that just shows how far this company has come.”

    Co-Founder and Design Director Ian Briggs added: “Impressing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the Mono was another massive feat for BAC, as we continue to go from strength to strength. Using graphene is just one of the many groundbreaking innovations on the Mono to ensure we stay at the forefront of the automotive industry. Having Prince William sit in the car was a great experience – perhaps his grandmother fancies a go, too!”

    The 2016 model year version of the Mono comes with a four-cylinder 305bhp 2.5-litre Mountune engine, which takes the 580kg car from 0-60mph in just 2.8sec.

    BAC recently launched a carbon hybrid wheel and announced the use of super-material graphene, which is up to 20 per cent lighter than carbon fibre and as much as 200 times stronger than steel.

    The University of Manchester has been involved in graphene since its inception in 2004 and is a founder member of the National Graphene Institute (NGI). Drs Haigh and Vijayaraghavan were appointed through the 2009 £5.3M EPSRC Science and Innovation Award entitled “Maximising the Impact of Graphene Research on Innovation through Materials Science, Chemistry and Engineering.”

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham