Honda CR-V Hybrid while the body shares some components with Honda’s popular crossover, an IndyCar-sourced twin-turbo V-6 and supercapacitor hybrid live amidships.
- The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer previews the hybrid powertrains set to arrive for the 2024 IndyCar season.
- The IndyCar twin-turbo V-6 is accompanied by an electric motor and a supercapacitor—a component previously seen in the Lamborghini Sián—to combine for approximately 800 horsepower.
- The CR-V Hybrid Racer will make its in-person debut at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend before touring the other tracks on the 2023 IndyCar schedule.
At heart, Honda is an engineering company, as it likes to remind us in commercials showing off its diverse product lineup from cars to outboard motors to airplanes. The automaker also has a long history in motorsports and currently supplies engines to five teams in IndyCar, which will introduce hybrid power units for the 2024 season. To prepare for IndyCar’s electrification, Honda let its engineers go wild to create the CR-V Hybrid Racer, described by Honda as a “rolling laboratory” that provides a “sneak preview” of the next era of IndyCar racing.
The CR-V Hybrid Racer may resemble a regular CR-V, which is Honda’s most popular vehicle, but underneath the family-car shape lies a tube-frame chassis and a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter V-6 out of an IndyCar. The V-6 runs on a 100 percent renewable race fuel developed by Shell for the 2023 IndyCar season, which consists of ethanol derived from sugarcane waste and other biofuels. That engine is paired with an Xtrac six-speed paddle shift gearbox and a unique hybrid system composed of an electric motor developed by Empel and a supercapacitor from Skeleton Technologies.
While supercapacitors cannot store as much as energy for as long as traditional batteries, they are efficient and can dispense lots of energy incredibly quickly, making it ideal for performance vehicles. The only production vehicle to use a supercapacitor was the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Sián.