Could this Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer be the Renault Espace F1 of the TikTok era?
Developed by Honda Performance Development (HPD), the company’s North American racing division, the Hybrid Racer outwardly resembles the world’s most ridiculously slammed CR-V.
From the belt line up, the Hybrid Racer uses the CR-V’s standard steel doors, as well as showroom-ready versions of the windscreen, sunroof, and glasshouse.
To get in and out, the half-cut front doors swing up, butterfly style. The rear doors and tailgate aren’t functional, though, as the rear half of the car is a one-piece clamshell that swings up to allow access to the drivetrain.
Below the belt line, the Hybrid Racer has a bespoke carbon-composite body with flared and vented wheel arches. A massive front splitter, and equally eye-catching rear wing create enough downforce to keep the vehicle on terra firma.
There’s also a vented bonnet, and a large intake duct on the roof.
Under the skin there’s a Chromoly tube frame chassis with a 2.2-litre twin-turbo V6 from the Indycar race car program mounted midship, and said to develop around 597kW (800hp).
It drives the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission, which is aided by a driver-activated Empel electric motor hooked up to a Skeleton super capacitor energy storage system.
The Hybrid Racer rides on 285/35-20 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Performance summer tyres at the rear, and massive 305/35-20 units at the back.
As far as the suspension and brakes go, the CR-V Hybrid Racer is a bit of a Frankenstein job, with the front suspension and accompanying 380mm Brembo brakes taken from the Acura NSX GT-3 Evo22 race car.
The rear suspension package and 350mm Brembo brakes, meanwhile, are pilfered from the Dallara IR-18 Indycar.
With seating for a driver, and a front passenger, it’s likely the Hybrid Racer will give a few lucky passengers an experience something similar to being in an Indycar racer.
The CR-V Hybrid Racer will make its public debut at the first Indycar race of the season in St Petersburg, Florida. In addition to appearing at select Indycar races, it will turn up at “select events throughout 2023”.
Shame, the Gold Coast Indycar race is now but a distant memory.
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