Currently reading: Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer is 800bhp V6 track weapon
Japanese brand celebrates Indycar entry by cramming experimental powertrain into family SUV

Honda has revealed an extreme variant of the CR-V fitted with an 800bhp 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.

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 800bhp, 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.

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.

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.


Read our review

Car review

For its fourth-generation, Honda moves its long-established CR-V into full-size family SUV territory

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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Peter Cavellini 28 February 2023

What a wild looking thing, I like how its color scheme, as to what the engine developed will yield for road cars, who knows?

jason_recliner 3 March 2023
Really? FFS...
Peter Cavellini 28 February 2023

What a wild looking thing, I like how its color scheme, as to what the engine developed will yield for road cars, who knows?