The Honda Beat is a mid-engined two-seat roadster kei car produced from in 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.
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.
In typical Honda fashion, the Beat's engine did not utilize a turbocharger or supercharger. The engine was modified with the MTREC (Multi Throttle Responsive Engine Control) system, which included one throttle valve for each of the three cylinders, to produce at 8100 rpm. 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 predicted the arrival of the Smart Roadster over a decade later, while Japan would not see a new model of the genre until the recent Daihatsu Copen.