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The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer is an SUV destined for the racetrack

Also a sneak peek into IndyCar’s future toward hybridization

Not for soccer moms. PHOTO FROM HONDA

Last week, Honda of America teased a new hybrid SUV that is not made for the masses but ideally for the track maniacs. Finally, the one-off CR-V Hybrid Racer is unveiled with the purpose to showcase the future of Honda Performance Development (HPD) and the IndyCar series in 2024 onward.

Imagine this CR-V pulling up to school. PHOTOS FROM HONDA

The CR-V Project Racer ditches the rear seats entirely, and now houses a 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 racing engine used in this season’s IndyCar championship. This engine is now paired with an electric motor from EMPEL Systems, and uses renewable race fuel from Shell. This serves as a rolling lab for HPD to experiment hybrid technology and sustainability in the largest American open-wheel racing series.

Check engine? Not up front. PHOTOS FROM HONDA

The new bodywork and interior no longer resemble a stock CR-V. The exaggerated wide flares and the huge rear wings are what you’d find in a time-attack or hill-climb build. Half of the front doors open upward like a butterfly, and the rear half of the body now serves as the hood. Inside lies a chromoly steel-tube frame chassis cocooning a completely stripped-out race interior.

Wheels, tires, wings: Everything is large on an already large vehicle. PHOTOS FROM HONDA

Interestingly, the suspension and the Brembo brakes are from two different Honda race cars: front components from the Acura NSX GT3 Evo and rear from the Dallara IR-18 IndyCar chassis. The 20-inch racing wheels from 2Elle Engineering are wrapped in Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 summer tires measuring 285/35 up front and a whopping 305/35 at the rear.

This looks like it could run Pikes Peak. PHOTOS FROM HONDA

The CR-V Project Racer will make its physical debut at IndyCar’s season opener in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 35, and will reappear in future race weekends and various other events this year.

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.