Honda’s Unreal IndyCar-Powered CR-V From Every Angle
I’m a massive fan of this.
Every now and then, a car company comes up with something so bonkers that you have no choice but to sit back and soak it all in. Aston Martin did this with the Victor a few years back, and Nissan had its own attempts at something outlandish with the DeltaWing. Now, Honda is here to hog the limelight with a new CR-V racer that’s powered by an IndyCar motor.
Engineers at Honda Performance Development (HPD) wanted a way to showcase the new hybrid tech that will finally debut in IndyCar next year. The mild hybrid powertrain pairs a gas-powered, 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 with an electric motor-generator unit and supercapacitor energy storage system. The new power units will kick out almost 900 horsepower when they hit the track next year, a massive increase over the 750hp you find on track today.
To show off its new tech, Honda decided to build a one-off race car concept from the only logical vehicle in its fleet: the CR-V Hybrid.
The finished racer is an absolute beast. As well as the Honda IndyCar engine, the one-off show car packs in a full custom tube frame and custom carbon-fiber bodywork below the beltline. HPD engineers also gave the racer the front suspension from an Acura NSX GT-3 Evo22 race car, and the rear suspension straight out of a current-generation Indy car.
Other components plucked from a race car include the radiator, which is a modified version of the model used in a current generation Indy car. There’s also a set of the same 15-inch Brembo brake rotors fromthe Acura NSX race car, and 14-inch brakes adapted to work with the rear suspension.
All this has been finished off with a slick blue and red livery to create a car that has no business looking as cool as it does. So, to revel in the awesomeness of this creation, sit back, relax and flick through 15 beautiful pictures of the coolest SUV you’ll ever see.
Half and Half
The CR-V racer is a car of two halves. Below the beltline, it’s all custom carbon fiber bodywork that packs in all manner of aerodynamic trickery. We’re talking about a huge front splitter and a rear diffuser that helps create downforce to keep it planted on the track.
But, above that line, the car is all stock. So the body panels, windscreen and greenhouse on this thing are exactly the same as you’ll find on a CR-V hybrid that me or you would be allowed to drive.
Those enormous flared wheel arches house some serious rubber. The CR-V racer has been given a set of Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Performance Summer Tires, with the rears stretching to a massive 305/35-20.
Front and back, these sticky tires are wrapped around a set of Elle Engineering two-piece alloy wheels, which have been given a gleaming red finish.
Nothing to See Here
In a normal CR-V, this is right where you’d find its 204HP hybrid engine. But that’s not where you’ll find the beating heart of this CR-V. Instead, Honda ripped out the rear seats and the trunk lining to make space for that hybrid IndyCar motor behind the driver.
This Way to The Track
The CR-V racer was built for the track, and that’s exactly where Honda plans to take it throughout the 2023 IndyCar season. If you want to see this monster in person, head down to one of these races:
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida: March 3rd to 5th
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach: April 14th to 16th
Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix: April 28th to 30th
Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio: June 30th to July 2nd
Honda Indy Toronto: July 14th to 16th
Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville: August 4th to 6th
Grand Prix of Portland: September 1st to 3rd
Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey: September 8th to 10th
Despite all its aerodynamic additions, this race car retains the comforting form of the CR-V, which I like.
Heart of a Monster
Under that familiar CR-V body, you’ll find this 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine from Honda, which has been coupled with an Empel electric motor-generator unit and a Skeleton supercapacitor energy storage system. It’s the same setup that will debut next year, when IndyCar finally switches to hybrid power.
What’s in a Paint Scheme?
Apparently, this color scheme was chosen to bring together Honda’s hybrid blue with the brand’s racing red. Whether you think it does that well, or not, it’s a slick looking race car.
Race Car Profile
It’s a Hybrid, You Know?
Engine Goes Here
Ready to Race
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