Praga Bohema road-legal hypercar revealed


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From the maker of the R1 racer, the $2.36 million Bohema weighs 987kg and shares Nissan GT-R’s V6.

An extraordinary, trackday-optimised hypercar from Czech maker Praga is currently in the final stages of development and will launch next year.

The mid-engined, carbon-tubbed and carbon-bodied Bohema will mark the 115-year-old, multi-disciplinary firm’s first proper foray into road cars since 1947 and is heavily influenced by the flyweight Praga R1 racer that, having recently proved too competitive for even the full-blown GT3 cars of Britcar Endurance Championship, now enjoys its own one-make series.

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Prices will start at £1.32 million (AUD$2.36m) in the UK, which is where Praga Cars is likely to base its commercial activities.

Beyond their insectoid and highly sculptural aesthetics, the Bohema and the R1 will share almost nothing, the road-legal model being new from the ground up. This was essential in order to give the the car enough breadth of ability to be used properly on the road, and in terms of footprint the larger Bohema is similar to the current crop of supercars, being roughly the same width and length as a Ferrari 296 GTB. It means that while the cockpit is tight and utilitarian in its architecture, it can carry driver and passenger in reasonable comfort, though this has partly been achieved by staggering the seats.

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The car’s cabin is also upholstered with relative lavishness and there is even 100 litres of luggage space in the car’s flanks, package in similar fashion to what Pagani does with the Huyra.

Having spent two years establishing the car’s track capabilities, which included use of an F1 team’s wind tunnel to hone the car’s aero properties, Praga’s engineers are now in the final stages of ensuring the Bohema’s road manners are up to scratch.

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An acceptably absorbent ride and adequate insulation from road roar and engine din are important factors that Praga never had to consider with the R1, and are reasons why the rear-drive powertrain is affixed to the central structure via a chromoly subframe rather than being bolted on directly.

Work on the car’s automated-clutch sequential gearbox also continues, and the compliance characteristics of the in-board pushrod suspension, which will use manually adjustable Öhlins dampers, will be the final dynamic element the team signs off.

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However, matters relating to usability and comfort are very much concessions, and the Bohema’s main concern is raw speed.

Praga is targeting a weight of 982kg at the kerb, and it’s this lack of mass along with the potential for up to 900kg of downforce at 242km/h that should yield jaw-dropping pace on the track.

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With as much as 522kW available, the car’s power-to-weight ratio should be comfortably in excess of what even hardcore specials such as the BAC Mono R and Ariel Atom 4 can muster. That power will come from the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 found in the R35-generation Nissan GT-R, only with the wet-sump lubrication system removed and replaced by a dry sump set-up of Praga’s own design. As well as being better suited to the high lateral loads achieved on track, this lowers the height of the engine considerably and allows it to sit deep within the car. Note also that the Praga is purely rear-wheel drive.

Iain Litchfield, the British tuner renowned for his expertise with the GT-R, has been involved and helped establish an arrangement that will enable Nissan to support Praga during the time it uses the Japanese company’s engines.

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