AbstractWe study $$R^2$$
R
2
-Higgs inflation in a model with two Higgs doublets in which the Higgs sector of the Standard Model is extended by an additional Higgs doublet, thereby four scalar fields are involved in the inflationary evolutions. We first derive the set of equations required to follow the inflationary dynamics in this two Higgs doublet model, allowing a nonminimal coupling between the Higgs-squared and the Ricci scalar R, as well as the $$R^2$$
R
2
term in the covariant formalism. By numerically solving the system of equations, we find that, in parameter space where a successful $$R^2$$
R
2
-Higgs inflation are realized and consistent with low energy constraints, the inflationary dynamics can be effectively described by a single slow-roll formalism even though four fields are involved in the model. We also argue that the parameter space favored by $$R^2$$
R
2
-Higgs inflation requires nearly degenerate masses for $$m_{\mathsf {H}}$$
m
H
, $$m_A$$
m
A
and $$m_{{\mathsf {H}}^{\pm }}$$
m
H
±
, where $${\mathsf {H}}$$
H
, A, and $${\mathsf {H}}^{\pm }$$
H
±
are the extra CP even, CP odd, and charged Higgs bosons in the general two Higgs doublet model taking renormalization group evolutions of the parameters into account. Discovery of such heavy scalars at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are possible if they are in the sub-TeV mass range. Indirect evidences may also emerge at the LHCb and Belle-II experiments, however, to probe the quasi degenerate mass spectra one would likely require high luminosity LHC or future lepton colliders such as the International Linear Collider and the Future Circular Collider.