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Prince William and Kate check out BAC's Mono

His Royal Highness Prince William took to the cockpit of the single-seater Mono - at The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on a quick trip to Manchester, were able to pop by and see the British-built Mono which is constructed using a innovative and lightweight material, graphene. The first car in the world to use this in the production process, with the composite making up the rear wheel arches for weight-saving and body-strengthening benefits - The University of Manchester has been heavily involved in the development of graphene since its inception in 2004, and are founder members of the National Graphene Institute (NGI).  Graphene is up to 20 per cent lighter than carbon fibre and as much as 200 times stronger than steel.

The Mono is built from 1,250 unique components from 100 suppliers, 95% of which are based in BAC’s homeland. This drew plenty of interest from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who appeared impressed with the Mono, labelling 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!”

BAC has exported its Mono supercar to 28 countries across five continents since its launch in 2011. The 2016 model is powered by a four-cylinder 305bhp 2.5-litre Mountune engine, which takes the 580kg car from 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds.