My eyes! Ultra-rare Mitsuoka Oroshi for sale

Japan's wildest supercar was the antidote to an era of dreariness – and this one's on delivery mileage

By Cam Tait / Monday, 18 July 2022 / Loading comments

Mitsuoka isn’t a normal car company. Diehard JDM car nuts may know it as the firm that rebodies ordinary Japanese cars to give them more of a retro look with, er, mixed results. The Mazda MX-5 based ‘Rock Star’, which takes a fair bit of inspiration from a C2 Corvette Stingray, is actually pretty cool (from certain angles). Then there’s the Viewt, which takes the body of a Nissan Micra and slaps on the front and rear end of a Mark 2 Jag. Hard to imagine a world where that could work, really.

Ultimately, it’s easy to see Mitsuoka as a novelty carmaker that makes some hilariously ill-proportioned off-brand replicas, and therefore unlikely to ever join Japan’s all-time greats. There is one peculiar blip on Mitsuoka’s radar, though. In 2001 it unveiled a bizarre looking supercar at that year’s Tokyo Motor Show, which would make its way into production five years later as the radical Orochi – and now there’s one up for sale on PH.

There’s no denying it looks… different. The design inspiration comes from a legendary eight-headed dragon, which it’s named after, with the vents on the bonnet and swoopy side panels mimicking the nostrils and contours of the mythical creature. Arguably the most distinctive feature (impressive given there are so many bits on it) is the front facia, with a teeny tiny grille sandwiched by four circular headlights. But the listing describes it the best: “It resembles a poisonous, barbed, hideous fish, or a snake that got too close to Fukushima, mutated and grew an extra set of gills, eyes and lips.” Hard to argue with that.

The design may not be to everyone’s taste, but Mitsuoka put some serious thought into its first supercar. Initially, anyway. The underpinnings for the 2001 concept were taken straight from a Honda NSX. However, when production was green-lit the NSX had just been discontinued and, therefore, Mitsuoka built its own platform for the Orochi. Pretty brave for a company which, at the time, had more experience with superminis than supercars.

It uses a bespoke spaceframe chassis with double-wishbone suspension and is powered by a Toyota-sourced 3.3-litre supercharged V6, which is located in the middle. Sounds promising, right? Well, it all falls apart a bit when you look at the numbers. Power comes in at 233hp and 241lb ft of torque, and that’s all managed through a five-speed automatic ‘box. Not exactly supercar performance, then. But, hey, who cares about that when you’re driving sea serpent on wheels?

In all seriousness, the Orochi is a bit of a JDM legend. It may not be the fastest thing on the planet, but it appeared at a time where most Japanese carmakers had given up on performance cars (R35 GT-R and LFA aside) to focus on horrifically dull hatchbacks (looking at you, Toyota Auris). The Orochi’s insane styling was the antithesis that some Japanese car fans needed for their sanity to remain intact during a particularly dreary period.

The example we have might just be the cleanest example there is. Registered in its homeland in 2009, this Orochi has only covered 47 miles in the past 12 years. Half of those came after it was imported to the UK in 2019, where it’s been professionally stored since. The ad says a little work may be needed to get the paintwork up to snuff and the tyres have never been changed, but for £75,000 you’re getting a car that’s guaranteed to turn heads faster than any super or hypercar in existance. Probably.


Engine: 3,310, V6, Supercharged
Transmission: five-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 
[email protected],400rpm
CO2: N/A
Year registered: 2009
Recorded miles: 47
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £75,000

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