The historic automotive company Praga, currently a global player in various on- and off-track racing disciplines around the world, has revealed its all-new road legal hypercar in pre-production prototype form: a high-performance, low-volume, beautifully-appointed car designed around three core principles – lightweight, carbon, petrol.
The new Praga Bohema is a sub-1,000 kilogrammes, mid-engined two-seater that, in the right hands, is capable of extreme high performance on track targeting GT3 race car lap times on its semi-slick Pirellis. Yet it is also comfortable and practical for head-turning road trips.
With its carbon fibre monocoque and race-oriented fully adjustable suspension, it is extremely light, targeting just 982 kgs (wet without fuel), while its powerful Nissan GT-R-derived six-cylinder twin-turbo engine ensures reliability, ease of servicing and the potential for further performance tuning. Whilst the Bohema’s race-derived semi-automatic transmission will support a unique on-road experience with track-focused performance.
The Praga Bohema’s PL38DETT is based on Nissan’s famed 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V6 engine used in all its GT-R models since 2007. Initially drawing on Nissan’s experience at Le Mans, it is constructed around an aluminium alloy cylinder block, and there are double overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, with a continuously variable valve timing system on the inlet valves.
The beauty of this engine is not just its sheer performance potential, but also its renowned reliability and tunability.
Uniquely, Nissan supplies brand new GT-R engines to Praga for the Bohema. Engine development and servicing requirements then sees Praga working with the UK’s renowned Litchfield Engineering; another long-time friend of the Praga brand. Litchfield has more than two decades of tuning experience and is known as the global authority on GT-R engines. Litchfield strips the new engines and converts them to dry sump, which reduces the overall height of the unit by 140 mm. This allows the engine to sit lower in the Bohema and prevents the risks of oil surge under high-speed cornering loads.
Litchfield also makes a number of modifications for increased reliability and power, including swapping to new twin turbos. In this base-Litchfield specification, Praga is targeting the Bohema production car to deliver up to 700 bhp at 6,800 rpm and 725 Nm of torque from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm, but Litchfield is known for building 1000 bhp-plus engines from the GT-R unit.
The engine breathes out through exhausts that are titanium right from the turbos to the tailpipes, with much of the silencing provided by the catalytic convertors, giving a sharp crackle to the engine note while remaining within typical circuit noise limits – and ensuring that occupants can still hold a conversation even at well over legal road speed limits.
The Bohema’s engine is mated to the renowned Hewland sequential gearbox through a robotic clutch allowing for semi-automatic drive mode. This choice of gearbox, equipped with bespoke road-optimised helical cut gears, ensures fast-changing, durability and ability to handle high torque at a minimum weight.
In classic race car and supercar style, the engine sits directly behind the cockpit, with the transmission behind the engine driving the rear wheels, for optimal weight balance and responsiveness in turns. Crucially, the engine and gearbox are independently mounted from the carbon chassis ensuring annoying and loud sub-woofer style resonance and vibrations are not transferred through to the cockpit from the engine bay. A 74-litre fuel tank ensures road trips can be completed with minimal fuss.