Published on February 11th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mitsuoka Rock Star Pays Homage To The C2 Corvette
How cool is this Mitsuoka sports car and do you want one.
If you not a complete petrol-head (car enthusiast), you probably did not know about the Mitsuoka car company. If you check online, Mitsuoka is a Japanese car maker and the 10th largest in Japan. Mitsuoka is more a car designer than a car manufacturer.
Their business model is to take current popular Japanese cars and rework the body (coachwork) and keep the platform, drivetrain, electronics and safety features. More like a well put together kit-car, Mitsuoka prides itself on taking inspiration from iconic classic British and American car designs and adapting them onto modern platforms.
Mitsuoka used to have a business presence in Malaysia for many years with a showroom in Petaling Jaya. This business however closed in 2018 without any further information.
Meanwhile, here comes a surprise which was shared with us by a Mazda MX-5 car club member. This is the Mitsuoka Rock Star which they recently spotted for sale in Kuching, Sarawak.
Inspired By The Vette
Looking almost like a vintage Chevrolet C2 Corvette, this three-quarter scale Japanese homage to what is the quintessential American sports car could well be the perfect substitute for those who want to live the American dream over here, but don’t feel like pawning off an arm and a leg in the process of keeping it going.
Mazda MX-5 Platform
With the Mitsuoka Rock Star, what you get essentially is the current-generation ND Mazda MX-5 with Corvette Stingray styling. Featuring with the iconic C2 silhouette complete with the chrome front and rear over-riders, not to mention the signature quad circular tail lights, it wouldn’t be too unreasonable to think that many passers-by will actually believe that this Mitsuoka was an actual vintage Corvette as it drove by on the street.
The one thing though that might lead people on to the fact that it might not be a real deal C2 could probably be the distinct lack of V8 rumble. However, the standard Mazda powertrain in the Rock Star means that the Mitsuoka will be way more cost-efficient to run than a Corvette, as well as being way more of a blast through the bends as it uses the MX-5 handling package.
Stepping inside, the Rock Star’s MX-5 roots is rather as the cabin is basically all MX-5 just with a few Mitsuoka stickers and badges plastered over the Mazda ones that were originally there. That though may not be such a bad thing as while you do lose the vintage Americana vibe of the double-cowl dash in the Corvette, what you do get instead here are ergonomic seats, a decent sound system, air-conditioning and other niceties associated with modern car ownership.
See, there was a catch to that statement, as while there would probably be no need to do so to keep the Rock Star running (as it should cost no more than maintaining a nearly new MX-5) there is nevertheless a rather large bill to foot before actually being able to call this light blue Mitsuoka seen here as your own.
The asking price of RM398,000 for this particular Los Angeles blue example seen here might seem high however we think its worth a second or may be even a third look.
It must be noted that all Rock Stars left the Mitsuoka production line with the less exciting Japan-spec 132hp 1.5 litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, as opposed to the 2.0 litre 181hp engine fitted to the local spec MX-5s. To add to that too, this particular roadster here is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission instead of the typical manual shift.
Still, what a great looking sports car and if you have the available funds, why not?
Research and Text by Joshua Chin