2024 Praga Bohema
A £1.1m Czech hypercar sounds like a terrible idea. Except it’s brilliant.
Cutting it fine
Would you pay £1.1m for a new hypercar powered not by 2000bhp electric motors or a V12 but by the V6 engine from a Nissan GT-R, and built by a company you’ve never heard of in a country with no history of making high-performance cars?
Praga, from the Czech Republic, thinks you might: not least because its new Bohema represents one of your last chances to order a hypercar with pure internal-combustion power from new. One Praga executive admitted they’re ‘cutting it fine’ to be launching a car like this.
In the 1930s Praga made aircraft and more cars than Skoda and Tatra combined. After the war it made trucks and transmissions before diversifying under private ownership into karts and racecars like its Britcar-winning R1, among other things. The brief for its first bespoke roadgoing hypercar was clear: to be usable on-road but also the quickest road-legal car on a circuit, prioritising light weight and aero over extreme power, and matching the lap times of a GT3 racer on semi-slicks.
The bodywork almost doubles the Bohema’s impressively svelte 982kg with the peak downforce it generates. But Praga has also bothered to make it beautiful, turning the Bohema’s semi-detached, racecar-like panels into a work of Futurist art.
The originality continues insides. You enter downwards, through what is more a hatch than a door, into a cockpit so tight that the two egg-shaped seats have to be arranged with the passenger’s lower and slightly behind the driver’s so their shoulders don’t clash. It’s remarkably comfortable, though, and beautifully finished in carbon, alcantara and milled aluminium.
The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 is built and tuned in the UK by Litchfield. It’s making just over 500bhp in our near-production test car, and will make 700bhp in production. The noise is gruff but not intrusive, and the race-spec Hewland six-speed sequential manual gearbox changes with a purposeful, audible thunk but isn’t jarring. Visibility and manoeuvrability are good, and with 50 litres of bespoke suitcase in each sidepod you can just about imagine road-tripping one. But that’s not its primary purpose. Even in an anaemic state of tune and without the instant torque and all-wheel traction of an EV like the Rimac Nevera, the Bohema is still utterly terrifying, with acceleration on the boundary of your brain and body’s ability to cope. The hiss and flutter from the turbo wastegates add to the character in this increasingly electric age.
The handling is sublime, the Bohema’s low mass palpable in its ever-level posture and its zero-latency response to every steering input. And of course it sheds speed as hard as it adds it, the carbon-ceramic discs leaving you hanging in the six-point belts. Only 89 Bohemas will be made, a nod to the company’s victory in the 1000 Miles of Czechoslovakia road race 89 years ago. They haven’t yet sold out, but you might need to be quick. A Porsche Taycan as a daily driver and one of these for the weekends seems a good way to see out the gas age.
Beautiful and beautifully made, the Czech Republic’s first hypercar won’t hang around for long ★★★★★
THE FIRST HOUR
First sight under covers at Ledmore & Co car club at Dunsfold track 2 minutes
Bloody hell, it’s gorgeous
Go outside, bit distracted by Ledmore boss’s 612 Scaglietti, sorry 20 minutes
‘Sighting’ lap with Praga test driver Josef Král. Jeeeeeeesus 45 minutes
My turn. Aware this is the only example. Delighted to hand it back in one piece Racer on the outside,
luxurious inside; it’s like nothing else
▲ PLUS Looks; performance; handling; mass; focus
MINUS ▼ ‘Only’ a Nissan V6
TECHNICAL DATA 2024 Praga Bohema
- PRICE £1.1m
- POWERTRAIN 3799cc 32v twin-turbo V6, six-speed sequential maual, rear-drive
- MAX POWER 700bhp @ 6800rpm
- MAX TORQUE 534lb ft @ 3000rpm
- PERFORMANCE ACCELERATION 3.2sec 0-60mph,
- MAX SPEED 200mph (all est)
- ON SALE First deliveries late 2023
- WEIGHT 982kg
- EFFICIENCY n/a mpg, Data n/a g/km CO2
Racer on the outside, luxurious inside; it’s like nothing else
One of your last chances to order an internal-combustion hypercar from new