Never mind a wolf in sheep's clothing - this is a race car in crossover's clothing.
There have been some wild SUVs and crossovers in the past, but this new Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer might be the most outrageous one we've ever seen. It has the body of a 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid but hides a 2024 Honda IndyCar hybrid power unit that will be used in next year's IndyCar series. Mounted in the middle of the car sits a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged, electrified V6 engine that runs on Shell 100% renewable race fuel.
This monstrous engine features massive Borg Warner EFR7163 turbochargers, a McLaren Applied Technologies Tag 400i engine control unit, an Empel electric motor generator unit, and a Skeleton Supercapacitors energy storage system mated to an XTRAC six-speed transmission with Mega-Line Assisted paddle-shift. Total output is around 800 horsepower.
"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 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!"
The CR-V Hybrid Racer shares almost nothing in common with the CR-V Hybrid that consumers can buy. It rides on a Chromoly steel tube chassis with a standard production sixth-generation CR-V steel body on top. However, everything on the lower half is made from carbon-composite construction, including the front splitter and flared fenders. A rear clamshell lifts up to reveal the power unit, which sounds fantastic on the go.
Underneath, there are other racecar components, such as front suspension and Brembo 380-millimeter front brakes from the Acura NSX GT-3 Evo22, rear suspension and Brembo 355 mm brakes from the Dallara IR-18 IndyCar, Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Performance Summer Tires, and 2Elle Engineering two-piece alloy wheels.
IndyCar fans will have a chance to view the CR-V Hybrid Racer when the season kicks off at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida, on 3-5 March. The car will also be on display at other IndyCar races throughout the year, including those at Long Beach, Alabama, Toronto, Monterey, and more.
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