“Simplify, then add lightness” is a famous line from Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars, a famous automaker for making lightweight sports cars. Lightness is important over pretty much everything else that affects the overall dynamics and character of a car. The lightness makes everything better including efficiency, handling and of course overall performance.
That is also the philosophy of the Praga R1. Praga is a Czech automaker that deals with racing cars and go-karts, while the R1 is its flagship. It’s a no-frills racer who embodies the qualities that make any performance car great. It’s light to start with and weighs just 634 kg. In combination with its output of 365 hp, it results in a breathtaking power-to-weight ratio. Like every racing car, the R1 uses lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and zylon. These exotic materials are light and make the car very rigid.
With its lively body, the R1 looks ready to race and targeted thanks to a special paint job. Renowned car designer Frank Stephenson designed this paint job and was inspired by Prague’s history and the extreme aerodynamics of the R1. The result is a unique amalgamation of art and science that certainly goes well with the spaceship look of this car.
A closer look at the paintwork reveals various lines draped all over the car, mimicking the airway across the surface of the car. There’s also the “golden lion” on the nose of the R1, while even the rear wing bears the brand motto. The riot of colors, including blue, red, white and carbon fiber, also represents the national colors of the Czech Republic.
Frank Stephenson, Founder of Frank Stephenson Design, added: “I’m really excited to finally share the paint job for this R1 with the world. This graphic was great fun working on as I got a real feel for the race car while picking out the heads of the engineering team. I think the design of this paint job pays tribute to all of the aspects that make the R1 a great car, from its full carbon body to aerodynamics. I appreciated it in the design and at the same time made an allusion to the driving couple who will be behind the wheel for the Britcar Endurance Championship in 2021. “
The R1 would compete in the 2021 Britcar Endurance Championship, and the paint job also gives subtle hints that indicate who the Britcar drivers of the car will be. This is the new R1, and it’s an upgraded version of the racing car that was introduced a few years ago. In terms of its racing potential, Praga has improved aerodynamics and driver aids, as well as a larger fuel tank (up to 32 liters for 92L), revised suspension, in-car driver controls and new headlights for longer endurance races. Unlike some other racing cars, servicing is also easier as it doesn’t require an army to maintain and the large carbon fiber panels are easily removable.
As mentioned earlier, the engine has been cleaned to get more power from a turbocharged 2 liter R-A Praga-T engine. The new Praga R1 is currently being assembled at the company’s facility near the Slovak Ring.
The first R1 was developed back in 2012, while production started in 2013. There is also the Praga R1R, a street car version with almost the same engine and aerodynamics, but slightly toned down for the street. It’s still by far the most extreme “car” you can get, and you can even opt for a single seat or a two-seater layout. There is no clutch and the driving position is also like a racing car! Whether for the road or the racetrack, the Praga R1 is an intoxicating cocktail of sensations that cannot be found in any other car!