By Steve & Tamami Laser
[Note from the editor: The Mitsuoka Rock Star has gone on sale in Japan. Click or tap here for our updated story.]
As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Mitsuoka Motor Co. in Japan is planning to build just 200 of its latest retro-inspired model, dubbed “Rock Star.” The two-seat roadster merges styling cues influenced by the second-generation Corvette atop a Mazda Roadster (MX-5 Miata) platform.
Mitsuoka has done a splendid job capturing the essence of our favorite ‘Vette with details that include split bumpers front and rear, muscular fenders, round taillights, and grilles in the hood and front fenders.
While we would prefer pop-up headlights like the original, Rock Star employs small round lights mounted above the lower air intakes. Unlike Mitsuoka’s other MX-5 based model, a neo-classic stretched roadster called Himiko, the Rock Star retains the donor car’s original wheelbase.
Customers in Japan can select from a roster of three Rock Star models powered by the Mazda 1.5-liter Skyactive-G 4-cylinder engine. Equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox, Mitsuoka says the Rock Star S has a base MSRP of ¥4,698,000 (about $41,400). The S Special Package adds features including a limited-slip differential and lists for ¥4,984,200 (about $43,900) with 6MT or ¥5,184,000 (about $45,600) with 6-speed automatic.
While the cabin is little changed from the Japanese Mazda Roadster, customers can select options to dress up their rides. The list includes a variety of soft top colors with matching or contrasting A-pillar and windshield header treatments, unique interior door and leather seat, dash, and steering-wheel trim, and (our favorite) 15-inch vintage wheels with 195/60R15 white-letter BF Goodrich tires.
Mitsuoka was founded in 1968 by Susumu Mitsuoka. Its current lineup includes the neo-classic Viewt (based on the Nissan March), Ryugi Sedan (aka Toyota Corolla Axio), Ryugi Wagon (Corolla Fielder), Galue (Nissan Teana), and Himiko (Mazda Roadster).
The company builds (or remanufactures) about 500 built-to-order vehicles per year, largely by hand, on the donor platforms, at its plant in Toyama City. Mitsuoka has showrooms located throughout Japan including Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, while its separate “Bubu” dealer network imports and sells a variety of American and European brand vehicles.
For more information visit Mitsuoka Motor
Note: Models, features, specifications, and prices apply to Japanese market vehicles and are subject to change without notice. Prices do not include consumption tax or recycling fees.
News source and images courtesy Mitsuoka Motor Co. Ltd. (Images are © Mitsuoka Motor and reproduced here for editorial use)
Story (text) © 2018 CarNichiWa.com