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Honda Beat

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Beat
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Wikipedia: Honda Beat

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A mid-engined convertible kei car produced by Honda from 1991-1996.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Honda Beat page on 12 September 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Honda Beat is a rear wheel drive, mid-engined two-seat roadster kei car produced from May 1991 to February 1996. The Beat was the last car to be approved by Soichiro Honda before he died in 1991. The total number of cars produced was around 33,600. Most of the production (around two-thirds) occurred in the first year, and then production and sales fell drastically. The design of the car originated from Pininfarina, who then sold the design plan to Honda. The Beat was one of many cars designed to take advantage of Japan's tax-efficient kei car class.

There were two mainstream models of the Beat (the PP1–100 and the PP1–110) and a couple of limited edition versions. Variations on the first model were just cosmetic updates. Only the second model had any real mechanical differences. All cars were offered with the option of a driver's side airbag. The car was sold exclusively in Japan at Honda Primo dealership sales channels.

In typical Honda fashion, the Beat's engine did not utilize a turbocharger or supercharger. The 656 cc (40.0 cu in) engine was modified with the MTREC (Multi Throttle Responsive Engine Control) system, with individual throttle bodies for each of the three cylinders, to produce 64 PS (63 bhp) at 8100 rpm with an electronically limited top speed of 135 km/h (84 mph). Only a manual transmission was available. The MTREC design would filter down to the 1993 Honda Today kei car.

The Beat was part of a wave of kei car-sized sports cars in the early 1990s; its competitors included the Suzuki Cappuccino and Mazda's Autozam AZ-1. Together they anticipated the arrival of the Smart Roadster over a decade later, while Japan would not see a new model of the genre until the 2002 Daihatsu Copen.

On May 9, 2010, a parade was held in the Twin Ring Motegi circuit as a part of an annual Beat owners meeting. 569 Honda Beats participated in the parade, which is certified by Guinness World Records as the largest parade of Honda cars. The record was shown in the 2011 edition of Guinness World Records.


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Model Kit - Aoshima 1300Beat MugenNew Trend '92, 1:24 scale




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