You may not have dreamt of creating the ultimate compact crossover, but Honda did. They dropped the drivetrain and suspension from their upcoming 2024 hybrid IndyCar into a CR-V. What did they end up with? An extreme looking CSUV with quadruple the horsepower you would find in a CR-V at your local dealership. And this one will make its track debut at the IndyCar season opener at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida.
“This project vehicle is an INDYCAR ‘beast’ in Honda CR-V ‘sheep’s clothing’,” said David Salters, president and technical director for Honda Performance Development, the North American racing arm of American Honda and Acura. “The CR-V Hybrid Racer is our ‘rolling electrified laboratory’, to investigate where the talented men and women of HPD and Honda could go with electrification, hybrid technology and 100% renewable fuels. It epitomizes Honda’s fun-to-drive ethos, showcases electrification and it just rocks our car culture roots and racing heritage! We present the CR-V Hybrid Racer – aka ‘The HPD Beast’!”
Powering this one-of-a-kind CR-V Hybrid Racer is a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged, electrified Honda V6 IndyCar power unit with an estimated 800 hp. It runs on Shell’s 100% renewable race fuel.
"When the Design Studio learned about this project, we had already established a great relationship with HPD through other projects, including the ACURA ARX-06,” said Dave Marek, executive creative director. “So this was – pardon the pun – ‘Right in our wheelhouse’. It became a ‘what if?’ of keep the CRV as is, but add some serious attitude with parts indicative of an Indy car. Then it was back to my childhood of never building model cars right out of the box, by manipulating areas with DTM or Japanese Super GT cars in mind. I basically mocked up the idea in 3D then our amazing Digital Modelers made it work.”
The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer will also be on display and on the track at several IndyCar races including the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 14-16); the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix (April 28-30); the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (June 30- July 2); the Honda Indy Toronto (July 14-16); the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville (August 4-6); the Grand Prix of Portland (September 1-3); and the season-concluding Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (September 8-10).
“The graphics were inspired by the hybrid powertrain, radiating from Honda Hybrid Blue to Honda Racing Red to symbolize the duality of the drivetrain,” Melikian explained. “While the ‘speed squirkles’ add a dynamic fun layer and showcase the playful side of Power of Dreams. Throughout the wrap, we have also sprinkled easter eggs like ghosted outlines of Honda-sponsored tracks and an overhead view of the engine that powers the Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer.”
Photography and Video By American Honda Motor Co.