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Honda Motor Co. on Thursday unveiled a prototype of a convertible sports car that will debut as early as spring.

The introduction of the S2000 prototype was made as Honda celebrated its 50th anniversary. The two-seater is powered by a 2-liter, low-emission engine that reduces exhaust gases to one-tenth the maximum level allowed by regulations.

According to Honda officials, the model’s concept was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995. The vehicle will be shipped to the United States and Europe in summer 1999 at the earliest. “Through this car, I want Honda employees and customers to reaffirm the importance of driving pleasure,” Honda President Hiroyuki Yoshino said. “And I hope this concept will be reflected in developing other cars.”

Yoshino said its rival will be sports cars from German automakers and he hopes to set the price between 3 million yen and 4 million yen.

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