Mitsuoka is probably a company you’ve heard of before, but not necessarily for a good reason. It’s made some simply hideous vehicles (such as the Orochi), so when there’s a new one, we clench in dread.
Well, there is a new one, and Mitsuoka calls it the Rock Star. It uses the current Mazda MX-5 as a base and it seems that it’s supposed to look like a C2 Corvette.
Turning modern cars into classic Corvettes is nothing new. One company that’s famous for this is AAT Cars out of Rochester Hills, Michigan. In 2003, it released the Commemorative Edition that put the 1953 body style on a 2003 Vette. The results were less than stellar.
There are several other companies that do the same thing as well. Unfortunately, nearly all of them fail at it. We’ll reserve judgment on whether Mitsuoka is bucking that trend.
To turn the Miata into the Rock Star, Mitsuoka strips away nearly all the body. You can still make out the Mazda doors and windscreen, but that’s about it. From there it bolts up all the new body panels. If you’re hoping to see pop-up headlights, forget it. There’s just a tiny pair of fixed headlights below.
Once together, Mitsuoka paints the car in one of six very American sounding colors. There’s Los Angeles Blue, Chicago Red, New York Black, Cisco Orange, Washington White, and Arizona Yellow. Because, you know, America.
In addition to the body panels, there are several other optional extras. These include things like different color convertible tops, sports seats, and even white-letter BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires.
Past that, everything else is still an MX-5. This means a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-pot under the hood, and a six-speed gearbox with both manual and automatic options. As a result, the Rock Star has a whopping 129hp, so even if you’re fooled by the looks, you won’t confuse it for a Corvette at the traffic light grand prix.
If you’re interested in a car that shares its name with a Nickleback song, you’ll need to act fast. Mitsuoka is building just 50 Rock Stars to mark its 50th anniversary. Prices start at 4,688,200 JPY ($41,500) for the base S trim and increase to 5,183,600 JPY ($46,000) for the S Special Package.