Praga, a 114-year-old Slovakian brand, has apparently been watching a lot of YouTube during the pandemic.
After announcing just last week that it would partner with sim-racer and streamer Jimmy Broadbent to offer him a real-life racing seat, it is now partnering with famous designer Frank Stephenson who offered his opinions about the design of various cars in his YouTube videos.
The auto industry veteran has had a hand in numerous recognizable cars like the Fiat 500, Ferrari FXX, McLaren P1, and BMW X5 (E53), among others.
He will be working with Praga to update its 635 kg (1,400 lbs) carbon-bodied R1 race car that can compete in Britcar Endurance racing and GT classes.
Stephenson said he was invited to see the car in November “and immediately knew it could be a great car to work on from a design perspective.” The challenge will be to work on a car whose design will be driven by the wind.
“It’s a purely engineering-led aero body, and it is like nothing else on the grid, which really excites me as I admire design that stretches the boundaries of what is possible,” he said. “We have a few ideas about our follow-up projects later in 2021, but first, I can’t wait to reveal the surprise that we have in store to kick off this collaboration.”
Stephenson’s new role comes down to more than his recent internet prominence, of course. Apart from designing many stylistically acclaimed cars during his tenure in BMW, MINI, Ferrari/Maserati, Fiat and McLaren, he has also previously worked with Mark Harrison, the managing director of Praga Cars UK.
“I knew he’d love the dramatic, functional look of the R1 and so it proved,” said Harrison. “It’s a real privilege for Praga to be working with such an iconic car designer as Frank and also to provide him with an opportunity to work on a championship-winning racing car.”
Stehpenson and Praga have been clear to call their collaboration on the R1 just the first. We’ll be keen to see what else comes next.