Known primarily for making very ordinary Japanese cars look like weird versions of British classics, coachbuilder Mitsuoka now seems to be turning its attention to the USA. First, we had the ND MX-5-based, Corvette-like ‘Rockstar’, and now there’s something a little bigger to form a weird, faux-Americana two-car garage.
Mitsuoka calls it the ‘Buddy’, and beneath all that glitzy chrome lies a current-generation Toyota Rav4.
The more you look, the easier it is to spot the Rav – the doors, roof, rear-three quarter panels and front wings of the original car are still present. The new front and rear ends do a commendable job of masking the Buddy’s origins, though, particularly when teamed up with the retro-style wheels with their chrome centre caps and BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A tyres. A more modern five-spoke design is available, but why would you?
The completed car has a K5 Chevrolet Blazer vibe to it, which is no bad thing. There’s no under-stressed, rumbly V8 under the bonnet, though – you’ll have to make do with the standard Rav4’s range of 2.0-litre petrol and 2.5-litre hybrid powertrains.
As noted on Mitsuoka’s Buddy microsite (which is stuffed full of hashtag lifestyle images and a poem that makes no sense post-Google translation), the new creation will launch on the 26 of November. Prices haven’t been revealed just yet, but it’s likely to be expensive – the Rockstar had a starting price of 4,688,200 (around £35,000) when it was launched a couple of years ago.
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