Automobiles The Monaco is an EV Sports Car Stripped Down to the Essence of RacingIf you’ve wished you could own and drive something that looks like it came out of the Tron universe, this is your ride.
- Words Adam Bible
If you’ve wished you could own and drive something that looks like it came out of the Tron universe, and could scream around a track almost as well as a Light Cycle or Light Runner did on the screen — and looks just as badass — then the new Monaco electric sports car from Bandit9 Motors may be the ride for you.
Inspired by the “religion” of racing, this sleek and sexy open-wheeled sports car hews to a less-is-more dogma, informed by the minimalist (by necessity) design of vintage racing cars. To bring racing forward while still looking back, Bandit9 decided to strip everything away from the modern sports car that ends up diluting the driving experience — cruise control, autopilot, GPS, A/C, heated and cooled seats, etc. It’s an electric vehicle pared down to the bare minimum to get you around the track (or streets) quickly and efficiently and comfortably.
To begin, they started with a carbon fiber reinforced monocoque frame that’s five times lighter than steel and considerably stronger. Then the slippery body was constructed — also out of carbon fiber — and designed to let air flow around and through it, but at the same time providing enough down force to keep all four tires (shod over magnesium alloy wheels) planted when blasting down straightaways or pulling serious Gs (up to 4) in the twisties.
The drivetrain is equally as advanced, coming from a Tesla Model S, giving the stunning roadster 536 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque, which pushes the Monaco to a 0–60 time of 2.7 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph, all with a range of 250 miles on a single charge. And all of that weight from the batteries and electric motor is positioned in the rear, providing more mass to keep the rear tires from slipping while giving more room in the front of the car for improved aerodynamics.
Instead of a traditional stack of gauges, or the modern equivalent in LCD screens, the Formula 1-inspired steering wheel houses all of the pertinent info, with a gyroscopic speedo hanging out in the middle of it, always oriented horizontally, no matter how quickly you jerk the wheel. And the multitude of other functions the wheel provides can be fully customized to your specs before you take delivery of the vehicle. And in place of the typical dash, a panoramic 1080p display is provided that gets feedback from an ultrawide camera to give you 360 degrees of awareness at all times.
But wait, there’s more…Bandit9 teamed up with Forcite Helmets to create the Forcite MKS, a modern, tech-laden helmet worthy of a cameo in Tron. Not only is it sleek and sinister to match the Monaco’s style, it comes with lots of bells and whistles — a HD (1080p at 60fps) camera so drivers can replay events on the track to analyze and improve their performance; built-in Harman Kardon speakers with dual integrated microphones so drivers can communicate to race engineers for feedback and race strategy; a hazard alert system that uses a patented peripheral LED display so drivers are quickly alerted of crashes; and a Bluetooth remote mode that allows drivers to control aspects their driving experience without having to lift their hands from the wheel.
The Monaco is priced at $150,000 and first deliveries are slated for the third quarter of 2023.