Honda's Argento Vivo-based roadster is a welcome sing of new product excitement from a Japanese carmaker. Pninifarina will build the car in Italy beginning in 1999.
Since Japan's 'bubble economy' burst, the adventurous, sometimes impractical cars of the late 1980s and early 1990s have been few and far between. No more Nissan Figaros, gull-wing Toyota Seras, tiny Honda Beats and Ferrari-like Honda NS-Xs. No more Mazda MX-5s.
Now Honda has come up with a two-seat open-top sports car, based on one of the stars of the 1995 Tokyo show.
It is a sign of better times in Japan, but also of Japanese determination to build their brands in Europe before the removal of import quotas in 1999. And building the Honda sports car in Europe is a clever move.