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Honda unveils Indycar CR-V Hybrid Racer

1 March 2023

Honda is unveiling its CR-V Hybrid Racer power unit next month ahead of its official debut in the NTT Indycar Series in 2024.

A ‘sneak peak’ of the car’s technology will be revealed to fans at next month’s season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St.Peterburg on March 3rd – 5th.

The CR-V Hybrid Racer, reminiscent of the silhouette GT racing and Group B rally cars of the 1980s and ‘90s, runs on Shell’s 100% renewable race fuel. It also features world-leading Skeleton Supercapacitors and Empel MGU hybrid motor technology.

The Racer places a 2.2-liter 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.

David Salters, president and technical director for Honda Performance Development, the North American racing arm of American Honda and Acura, said: “The CR-V Hybrid Racer 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 by the engineers at Honda Performance Development (HPD) in California and designers from the North America Auto Design Division (NAAD) of American Honda; it was then built at Honda Automotive Development Center (ADC) in Ohio by the Honda of America Racing Team (HART).

The Chromoly steel tube chassis of the Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer is clothed in suitably “hybrid” bodywork designed by NAAD. From the beltline up, the Hybrid Racer utilized a standard production sixth-generation CR-V steel body, including the glass windshield, windows and even the sunroof. The lower half is of carbon-composite construction, incorporating a massive front splitter and louvered, flared fenders. An equally large rear wing and butterfly half-cut doors on either side for the driver and passenger complete the bodywork.

The Indycar hybrid powertrain will officially launch in 2024.

Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer Specifications

Powertrain

• Honda HI23TT 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine
• Borg Warner EFR7163 turbochargers
• McLaren Applied Technologies Tag 400i Engine Control Unit
• Drive-by-wire controlled port throttle
• Shell 100% renewable race fuel
• Driver-activated Empel electric motor generator unit
• Skeleton super capacitor energy storage system
• XTRAC six-speed transmission; Mega-Line Assisted paddle-shift

Chassis and Bodywork
• Chromoly tube frame chassis
• New, 6th generation Honda CR-V Hybrid bodywork from beltline up
• Standard Honda CR-V Hybrid windshield and greenhouse
• Custom carbon fiber lower bodywork incorporating flared fenders
• Butterfly half-cut doors provide access for driver and passenger
• Radiator adapted by HPD from the Dallara IR-18 Indy car
• Clamshell rear bodywork to display power unit and drivetrain
• Custom downforce-producing front splitter and rear wing

Suspension

• Front suspension from HPD-developed Acura NSX GT-3 Evo22
• Rear suspension adapted from Dallara IR-18 Indy car
• Brembo 380mm front brakes from Acura NSX GT-3 Evo22
• Brembo 355mm custom rear brakes adapted to Dallara IR-18 suspension
• Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Performance Summer Tires
• Front tires 285/35-20; Rear tires a massive 305/35-20
• 2Elle Engineering 20×10.5 Front and 20×11 Rear two-piece alloy wheels

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