Did Honda Really Just Make This Hybrid SUV a Race Car?
Honda Motor Company is responsible for some of the most impactful nameplates in the car and SUV vehicle classes. The Japanese brand is known for producing affordable vehicles with enjoyable driving dynamics. Some models have impressive performance specs. One new Honda hybrid SUV is particularly powerful. Did Honda really just turn its latest hybrid SUV into a race car?
What is the Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer?
Honda Performance Development has been teasing what appears to be the most performance-driven version of the Honda CR-V ever created. HPD (Honda Performance Development) put race car guts into the body of a new CR-V Hybrid to have a little fun and honor Honda’s racing history.
The modified CR-V Hybrid dubbed the ‘HPD Beast,’ is setting the internet on fire because of its exciting exterior and mind-blowing performance specs. The small SUV uses a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6, a hybrid system, and a six-speed sequential transmission to make a monstrous 800 horsepower. That’s more horsepower than a Lamborghini Urus Performante.
How on Earth was HPD able to achieve this incredible feat? The HPD Beast is the product of an IndyCar engine mated to the body of Honda’s most impactful SUV nameplate. The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer is impressive, but it isn’t something you can order at a dealership or even modify for yourself. So, let’s switch gears and break down how powerful a stock 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is.
The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is power-packed
The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts at $32,400. It uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to make 204 horsepower and a massive 247 lb-ft of torque. The small hybrid SUV gets 43 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.
The CR-V uses a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to make 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid version makes 68 more lb-ft of torque than the gas version. So, the stock CR-V Hybrid doesn’t come close to the HPD Beast, but consumers can still enjoy an exhilarating amount of standard torque on the latest iteration of the CR-V Hybrid.
Why did Honda make a race car out of a CR-V?
Honda has plenty of platforms and nameplates that can be modified into a race car. So, why did Honda Performance Development choose to make the small SUV a race car? There’s no definitive answer, but the CR-V was redesigned this year, and it looks pretty awesome slammed.
HPD likely chose the CR-V for shock value and to give the nameplate a second wind since it had already debuted. If you get a Honda CR-V Hybrid, it won’t be anything like the HPD Beast, but seeing the redesigned CR-V’s full potential is nice.
The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is a great small hybrid SUV for the money, despite being more expensive than some of its rivals. Other notable small hybrid SUVs include the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid, and the 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid. U.S. News & World Report calls the 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid the best hybrid SUV for 2023.