By on June 24, 2011

There is no replacement for displacement? How about a roadster “powered” by a 0.66 liter engine (yes, 40 ci, give or take a thimble) that is not allowed to make more than 63 hp?

Honda is developing a Kei car roadster, President Takanobu Ito said at Honda’s shareholders meeting yesterday, confirming rumors that even had Motor Trend hot & bothered.

It wouldn’t be a Honda first. 1991, Honda launched a two-seater Kei convertible, called the Beat. It didn’t last long and was discontinued in 1996.

“By offering a successor to the Beat, which still remains popular even today, Honda is likely looking to draw young men into the minivehicle market,” figures The Nikkei [sub]. Young men? I guess that means young Japanese women favor a Porsche.

Or how about a family car for Japan’s increasingly childless couples?

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10 Comments on “And The Honda Beat Goes On...”

  • avatar

    Why not relaunching the S600 or S800? Almost the same specs.

    • 0 avatar

      IRONICALLY the S600 is about exactly the exact opposite.

      I think this trend towards small sports cars is good and I can’t wait for the Z2.

      • 0 avatar

        “I think this trend towards small sports cars is good…”
        I’d appreciate this trend, too.
        If, and only if they mind the weight, however. That’s expensive and might also be risky.
        Look at the Daihatsu Copen. It simply didn’t sell outside of Japan. The reason might very well be that such cars are simply too nimble (almost toy-like) for the European or US taste, although they are well-engineered, very nice cars.

  • avatar

    If I remember correctly from my days of playing Gran Turismo the Beat was also mid-engine. If its small and light enough 67HP would be fine. My ’83 Civic S 1500 hatchback had all of around 90HP and it was “peppy”.

    • 0 avatar

      I use a Suzuki Cappuccino in my GT5 Kei races. A MR 1200 lb convertible doesn’t need a lot of power to be fun, even in a video game. I’d like to own one if I were in a country where the other vehicles on the road are anywhere near the same size.

  • avatar

    I heard it would use the same bones as the CR-Z, which is 13.3 feet (~4m) long, more than two feet over the maximum length kei-car regs have allowed since ’98 (3.4m).

    If they get the CR-Z’s crazy overhangs under control, they could make it happen, but 660cc probably won’t cut it in the states, if they ever planned to bring it here.

  • avatar

    Sounds a lot like the Honda S600. IF they keep the weight down at least within 10% of the S600 (an almost Herculean task with today’s safety regulations), I would love to own a car like this.

  • avatar

    The export version of the Daihatsu Copen actually comes with a 1.3l engine, since it doesn’t have to conform to kei standards. So this new Beat won’t necessarily have to be restricted to 63hp if it makes it out of Japan.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    I can’t pretend to be interested in a FWD convertible, despite being fine with the dinky engine and cramped quarters.

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