If you’re a new manufacturer that nobody has heard of, and you come from Slovakia, a country that is known for making large numbers of mainstream family cars for foreign brands, rather than few, very fast ones in a shed, your product needs to steal the show, and not only match what competition it faces.
That’s why the ultra-lightweight Praga R1’s engine has gained a turbocharger, to more effortlessly shift its 600-ish kg (1,322 pounds) curb weight.
Previously only getting its go from a two-liter RenaultSport motor that made 207 hp, Praga has now fitted the same motor with an in-house turbocharger kit that pushes the horsepower figure much higher, to 346 hp (350PS). This has a dramatic effect on performance (obviously), and the car is able to lap the SlovakiaRing track some 10 seconds faster than the naturally-aspirated variant with a FIA GT class time of 1:58.42.
Keep in mind that the R1 is designed as a track-day special that can be driven on the road, yet its makers claim it was able to pull 2.4 G in corners and top out at 248km/h (154mph) at the end of main straight on the racing circuit.
We do have a sneaking suspicion that less than road-legal slick tires may have been used, and if they weren’t, then kudos to the Praga team for coming up with a physics-defying chassis.
By Andrei Nedelea