The next generation PRB -

Racing improves the breed


 Source: Autoaction 16 July 1998.


Many car manufacturers claim that racing helps them design cars that they build for the public. While there may be some race technologies used in their road cars they only vaguely resemble the racecars on which the technologies were developed. Other manufacturers build race or rally editions of their normal road going production cars and even make them available to the public as limited edition homologation specials.

Only a few modern manufacturers like McLaren, Porsche or Ferrari develop and test their cars on the racetrack, and then make the same car available to the public. Very few people know that there is an Australian manufacturer who designs, develops and tests his cars on the racetrack, and makes the same cars available for the road.

The PRB Clubman has been built in Australia for 20 years providing a versatile and affordable sports car. Available as a kit or fully assembled the PRB can be used as a high performance road car or as a weekend racer by simply unbolting the spare wheel and pumping up the tyres. The PRB's versatility is demonstrated by its competitiveness in club racing, hillclimbs, sprints and even the Targa Tasmania and Dutton Grand Prix rally.

The latest generation of the PRB was released at this years Dutton Grand Prix rally. Externally this new car looks the same as a traditional PRB, it isn't till you look under the covers that the significant developments are noticed.

The traditional tubular steel space frame covered in aluminium sheet has been replaced with an aluminium honeycomb monocoque. Computer analysis of the honeycomb monocoque shows a fourfold increase in torsional stiffness over the traditional chassis. Front and rear subframes provide location points for the suspension, steering rack and differential. PRB designed fully independent double wishbone suspension is used front and rear with Mazda uprights, disk brakes and differential. The front suspension uses inboard spring/damper units operated by a pushrod and rocker setup very similar to an open wheeler racing car. Suspension can be fully adjusted for the camber, caster and toe in on the front and rear. More experienced drivers can even adjust spring rates, damper rates, roll centers, ride height and wheel travel to suit their driving style, and/or track conditions.

Weighing in an a nimble 500kg the 160hp 20-valve Toyota engine provides 4.9 second 0-100km/h supercar performance for under $38,000. 

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