The Beat Goes On? Honda May Combine Beat, S2000 Lines With New Roadster

Yes, the funky, free-revving Honda S2000 died after the 2009 year, but that doesn't mean the company has completely abandoning the roadster market.

According to the folks at Motor Trend, the company is looking at developing a new ragtop model that blends some of the S2000's best qualities with those of its former micro-roadster, the Beat.

Sources within Honda's inner R&D sanctum tell MT that the company is working on a new compact roadster that blends the lines between the two. Arguably, we'd say it may have more influence from the Beat, which stuffed a 656-cc inline three-cylinder engine behind the passenger compartment. Motor Trend says engineers are looking at ways to utilize existing front-wheel-drive subframes in midengine layouts. Sound familiar? It's similar to what General Motors did to create the 1984 Pontiac Fiero.

At this point, sources suggest the new roadster could be based upon Fit mechanicals, but it's unknown what will provide power. A gasoline I-4 may well be under consideration, but Honda could possibly surprise us by cramming in the CR-Z's hybrid powertrain or create a battery-electric vehicle.

Regardless, don't expect to see a new Honda ragtop before 2014.

Is a big Beat/Toyota MR2-style roadster a good path for Honda, or should it stick with the front-engine, rear-drive configuration it established in 1965 with the S500? Design your own Honda -- tell us what you'd like to see in Honda showrooms of the future.

Source: Motor Trend

What Honda needs is a sub-$15k car that isn't as ugly as the current Fit (and whats the deal with the Fit getting worse mileage than the larger Civic?).

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