The Praga R1R is the first Praga road car in 68 years and is equally at home on the road as it is on the race track. For those who want to race there are three variants to choose from: The Praga R1, R1S and R1T – and not to forget the pure-bred race car that started it all, the Praga R4S, the super sport GT open category race car.
The Praga R1 was first designed to race in the Dutch Supercar Challenge. The R1T race car is powered by a Renault Sport-sourced 2.0 litre F4R turbocharged inline-four mounted mid-ships which produces up to 360 hp, the power being dependent on the customer’s setup. The same engine used in the Formula Renault series so it made sense to mate it to an all-out racing transmission such as the Hewland JFR-200 6-speed semi-automatic transmission to deliver the power to the rear wheels. The transmission uses a racing clutch so once the car is rolling, the clutch is no longer required with shifts carried-out automatically by the pneumatic shift system.
The Praga R4S takes the same chassis but drops-in a 3.8 litre Nissan VQ engine with 415 bhp coupled to a Hewland TMT-200 transaxle. The Hewland TMT-200 transmission is very similar to the JFR but can handle the additional torque produced by the more powerful Nissan Engine. The R4S is capable of 2mins 3secs around Silverstone GP circuit so it is on par with current GT3 machinery.
Evo magazine said the Praga R1R is as extreme as road cars get but it’s definitely a road car. Inspired by a water drop and shaped by the laws of aerodynamics gives R1R an outstanding performance usually only available to full on race cars. It generates enough down force at speeds in excess of 200 kph to exceed its own weight and can theoretically drive upside down, which means in practice that it can reach very high speeds in cornering.
Praga cars went out of their way to prove their road car credentials in February 2017 when the notorious thrill-seeker Jon Olsson drove a Praga R1R from Copenhagen to Arvidsjaur which is 1500km away – in the depths of winter! The R1R was fitted with some studded tyres and they set off. Arvidsjaur has become a haven for large car manufacturers to conduct winter testing of models ranging from super sports cars to luxury SUVs. The gruelling conditions of winter in Northern Sweden offer the opportunity to drive these cars to their limits and often beyond. The Praga R1R made the journey there and back without issue or mishap (and we noted the Hewland gearbox operated without issue).
The Praga design team chose the Hewland JFR-200 transmission because it’s a longitudinal configuration, lightweight, high performance sequential-shift gearbox that they could use structurally to mount the rear suspension of the car. The Hewland transmission delivers fast, crisp shifts that is expected of a fast GT race car and the Praga R1R delivers the same performance and feel in the road-going car.