Honda has revealed a CR-V concept that has shoved an experimental powertrain into the family SUV.

Honda has revealed an extreme variant of the CR-V fitted with a 588kW hybrid V6 borrowed from Indycar Series race cars.

Nicknamed the HPD [Honda Performance Development] Beast, the Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer is a “rolling laboratory” that has SUV bodywork draped over a tubular chassis.

honda cr v hybrid racer rear lead

The most notable change over the standard CR-V is the powertrain: an electrified version of Indycar’s 2.2-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 that utilises supercapacitors to store electricity.

It runs on renewable fuels and generates roughly 590kW, according to an earlier Honda teaser video. By the time its development is completed and uprated to the full 2.4 litres afforded by the new Indycar rules, this is likely to rise to the series maximum of 900bhp (662kW).

The CR-V Hybrid Racer’s motorsport genealogy doesn’t end there: it borrows its front suspension from the latest Honda NSX GT3 racer, while its rear suspension is taken from the current Dallara-built Indycar single-seater.

From the belt line up, the bodywork is all original CR-V, but it has been cut halfway to allow access under the rear-hinged engine clamshell. The doors have been cut in half and given Lamborghini-style butterfly hinges.

38 hpd honda cr v hybrid racer

A Pikes Peak-style rear spoiler and shouty red-and-blue livery featuring Honda’s Indycar sponsors complete the aggressive look.

David Salters, president and technical director for HPD, said: “This project 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 epitomises Honda’s fun-to-drive ethos, [it] showcases electrification and it just rocks our car-culture roots and racing heritage.”

The CR-V Hybrid Racer will make its public debut on 3 March at the Indycar season opener at St Petersburg, Florida, and appear at several rounds thereafter.


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