2 min read
09 Jun

The Popular CR-V SUV Gains An Extra 600 Horsepower, Thanks To IndyCar-Sourced Twin-Turbo V-6 and Supercapacitor Hybrid Powerplant

Honda, a company with a strong engineering focus, takes pride in showcasing its wide range of products in commercials - from cars to outboard motors and even airplanes. The company has a rich history in motorsports and currently supplies engines to five teams in IndyCar. 

IndyCar is set to introduce hybrid power units for the 2024 season, and in preparation for this, Honda has allowed its engineers to create the CR-V Hybrid Racer. This vehicle serves as a "rolling laboratory," providing a sneak peek into the next era of IndyCar racing. 

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The CR-V Hybrid Racer Powertrain

Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer.

Although the CR-V Hybrid Racer may look like Honda's most popular vehicle, the regular CR-V, it boasts a tube-frame chassis and a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter V-6 engine sourced from an IndyCar. 

According to reports, the V-6 engine of the CR-V Hybrid Racer is powered by a 100% renewable race fuel, which has been developed by Shell for the 2023 IndyCar season. The fuel is made up of ethanol derived from sugarcane waste, as well as other biofuels. 

Additionally, the vehicle is equipped with an Xtrac six-speed paddle shift gearbox, and a unique hybrid system that comprises an electric motor developed by Empel and a supercapacitor from Skeleton Technologies. 

While supercapacitors cannot store as much energy as traditional batteries, they are highly efficient and can discharge large amounts of energy rapidly, making them ideal for high-performance vehicles. 

The only production vehicle to use a supercapacitor was the 2021 Lamborghini Sián, which was a limited edition model. 

HPD Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer massive rear wing.

During a media roundtable, David Salters, who serves as the president and technical director for Honda Performance Development, revealed that the hybrid system produces around 800 horsepower. 

According to David Salters, the company is currently focused on exploring new technologies. He emphasized that high-quality supercapacitors are an excellent option for delivering significant amounts of power. 

The hybrid system used in the CR-V Hybrid Racer has several applications, including a "push-to-pass" boost, regeneration during braking, and filling in for the gas engine while lifting and coasting, among others. It also helps to improve drivability by smoothing out turbo response. 

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CR-V Hybrid Racer Drivetrain

Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer IndyCar.

The CR-V Hybrid Racer incorporates rear suspension and brakes adapted from the Dallara-built IndyCar, while the front suspension and brakes are borrowed from an Acura NSX GT-3 Evo22. 

The dynamic SUV concept is equipped with Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 summer tires, which are 285/35 at the front and 305/35 at the rear, wrapped around 20-inch wheels. 

Group B Rally-Inspired Design

HPD Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer.

Honda has revealed that the CR-V Hybrid Racer's striking appearance was inspired by the Group B rally cars from the 1980s. While the windshield and greenhouse are standard CR-V components, the lower bodywork, which includes robust fender flares, is custom-made from carbon fiber. 

The vehicle boasts extreme aerodynamics, featuring a massive rear wing, a sharp front splitter, and sporty side skirts. The stripped-out interior can be accessed through half-size butterfly doors. 

The Hybrid Racer's wrap has a cross-section design that showcases elements of the IndyCar powertrain. Additionally, it includes outlines of several tracks where IndyCar races take place. 

Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer Ready For IndyCar

HPD CR-V Hybrid Racer IndyCar.

The CR-V Hybrid Racer is set to debut at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend and will make on-track demonstrations at various IndyCar events throughout the year. 

Fans are eagerly anticipating whether this sporty concept will inspire Honda to create a sportier version of the CR-V for the road. A road-going version of this new model could potentially go by the Si or Type-R nameplate.

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