The Beat was an early nineties sensation – a Kei car NSX. Its concept and execution were admirable. Whatever happened to Honda’s genius for creating cars which got so much so right?
The Beat was introduced in 1991 and was much admired by the press and public alike. It recalled the fabulous Suzuki “Whizz-Kid”, but Honda seemed to go one better by achieving daintiness alongside purpose and robust-looking proportions. The stance is balanced, the zebrano-clothed interior daring yet cheery, and the alloys just lovely. It was another grey import into the UK, and a very rare sight these days, more is the pity.
I got excited by the prospect of Honda rediscovering its touch when it showed the EVSter and then productionised it as the S660, but it sits alongside such poorly resolved cars as the current Jazz/ Fit, the HRV, and the impending Civic, which is possibly the most contrived looking hatch I have ever seen.
So, these days, Honda upsets me almost as much as Citroen; it has such a strong back-catalogue and yet seems to move further away from it with every generation. One lives in hope, and that’s what hurts.
[Image source for slide show: here.]