Hybrid power units will officially debut in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2024.
Race fans and car enthusiasts alike will be treated to a “sneak preview” of the incoming technology with the debut of the Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer at next month’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“It’s kind of 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. “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 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’!”
Conceived and designed at Honda Performance Development (HPD) in California and built at Honda Automotive Development Center (ADC) in Ohio by the Honda of America Racing Team (HART) group at ADC, the CR-V Hybrid Racer places a 2.2-litre twin-turbocharged, electrified Honda V6 INDYCAR power unit and transmission under 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid bodywork to create the “rolling laboratory” for the continued development of electrified technology by Honda and HPD. The CR-V Hybrid Racer runs on Shell’s 100% renewable race fuel: and features world-leading Skeleton Supercapacitors and Empel MGU hybrid motor technology.
While under development, the project carried the appropriate code name “The Beast,” with looks reminiscent of the silhouette GT racing and Group B rally cars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the technology under the skin is strictly 21st century.
The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer strengthens the connections between HPD, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Honda passenger vehicles; creates additional awareness around the new INDYCAR hybrid powertrain coming in 2024; showcases the fun and power available from Honda electrified powertrains; and spotlights the innovation, creativity and capabilities of both Honda Performance Development and Honda Automotive Development Center.
Where to see the Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer
The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer will make its public debut March 3-5 at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida. The unique vehicle will be on display and making on-track demonstrations at multiple INDYCAR events, 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).
In addition to INDYCAR race weekends, the CR-V Hybrid Racer will make additional appearances at select media events throughout 2023.