The Beat goes on, Auto Express can reveal. Sources in Japan say that Honda will combine the best of its car and motorcycle technologies to create a front-wheel-drive, 2-seater sports coupé successor to the 90's Beat.
The original was a 3.3-metre-long drop-top, produced between 1991 and 1996, that had a 660cc engine to take advantage of Japanese tax breaks. The reborn Beat coupé will be based on the platform of the petrol-electric CR-Z 2-door, but employ a smaller body with shorter overhangs, and is likely to take cues from Honda’s OSM concept car.
It is rumoured to incorporate one of the firm’s next-generation petrol engines: either the 1.3 or 1.5-litre advanced VTEC, due to appear in the company’s production cars from next year. Our spies tell us that a hybrid is not being considered for the coupé, although stop-start will feature.
The engine bosses eventually choose will be hooked up to the company’s 1st-ever dual-clutch transmission for cars. This set-up is borrowed and adapted from Honda’s VFR1200F motorcycle.
Targeting coupés such as the next Mazda MX-5 and recently launched Renault Wind, the newcomer is due in dealers in late 2013. It’s expected to cost less than £20,000, and will be sold in the US as well as Europe.