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NEW!!! 2014 HONDA BEAT, THE BEAT IS BACK!

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Published on Oct 10, 2012

Sources in Japan are telling us Honda will combine the best of its car and motorcycle technologies to create a new generation Honda Beat.The original Beat was a 130-inch-long drop-top produced between 1991 and 1996, powered by a 660cc engine designed to take advantage of Japanese tax breaks. The scoop image you see here is how one artist imagines the Beat successor, while the background photo shows an original 1991 Beat.

The front- drive, two-seat roadster will be based on the platform and tread width of Honda's CR-Z hybrid, but will employ a smaller body with shorter overhangs, and is likely to take cues from the OSM concept Honda debuted in 2008. Expected to tip the scales at less than 2200 pounds, the new coupe will employ the CR-Z's suspension, which includes MacPherson struts on the front with aluminium lower arms, while a highly rigid H-pattern torsion beam setup will be fitted to the rear.

Motivation for the Beat is expected to come from one of Honda's next-generation gas engines. It'll either be the 1.3 or 1.5-liter advanced VTEC, due to appear in the company's production cars starting next year. Our insiders tell us a hybrid is not being considered, although mileage-enhancing stop-start technology is. Whatever the engine bosses eventually choose will be hooked up to the company's first-ever dual-clutch transmission. This setup is adapted from Honda's VFR1200F motorcycle and is gaining rave reviews around the globe for its seamless F1-style gearshifts.The Beat will target coupes such as the next Mazda MX-5 and the recently launched Renault Wind, and is expected to hit the market beginning in late 2013. We're hearing it will be sold in the U.S. and other markets around the world and will start at less than $20,000.

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