Honda working on new Beat
Japan has some interesting rules that allows for cars extremely small cars with small engines (63 hp max) to qualify for large tax and regulations discounts. These lightweight “kei” cars produced some very interesting offspring, including the Honda Beat of the 1990s. With its go-fast looks, mid-engine/rear-wheel drive design, and roadster body, the Beat was like a Toyota MR2 that got shrunk in the wash.
It’s been thirteen years since the last Beat was made, but now Honda may be looking to get back in the business of small car fun for the 2011 model year. If the Beat does come back, it will likely share the platform of Honda’s other current kei cars, the Life and the Zest. This means it would be a front-engined car with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. So while it may not be everything the original Beat was, the OSM-inspired styling will still be a more attractive alternative to Daihatsu’s Copen.