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 656cc (40.0cuin) 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 64PS (63bhp) at 8100rpm. 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.
The design plan for the car was sold to MG by Honda, which was then used to build the MGF.
The car featured on the popular British television program Top Gear together with the Daihatsu Mira and the Mitsubishi Dangan