Marvellous Mazda MX-5 madness from Japan – Mitsuoka Rock Star

You like the way it drives but the mk4’s styling not really doing it for you? And you’re not keen on the Fiat 124 Spider alternative? Japanese coachbuilder Mitsuoka may have the answer…

If you’ve never heard of Mitsuoka – and frankly, there’s no shame in that – we advise you take a visit to Google and look at some pictures. But whatever your opinion of the company’s eclectic offering, it must be doing something right because it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary. And part of that celebration involves this, the Rock Star.

 Mazda MX-5 Miata based Mitsuoka Rock Star

Mitsuoka Rock Star

Underneath it’s a mk4 MX-5. Outwardly it’s a nicely executed appreciation of a Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray C2 from the 1960s. Even American commentators – passionately pro-Corvette – have praised the proportions and overall look of the Rock Star, marvelling at how well suited the mk4 MX-5 is for the conversion.

Slightly different story under the bonnet. Therein resides the regular 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, sonically and dynamically no match for the bellowing V8s found in the Corvette. Flyin’ Miata, it has been pointed out, could remedy that defect. The cabin is standard mk4 fare, too, and while it might lack the retro charm of the exterior, it’s plenty stylish, conveniently modern, and sweetly equipped.

We wish we could tell you what the body is made from – we’re guessing glassfibre – but Mitsuoka isn’t very forthcoming in that department. We can tell you that in Japan the Rock Star costs the equivalent of £31,000 before you add any options, and that Mitsuoka has told us that it plans to make 200 of them. Then again, it has told other magazines that production is limited to 50…

Should you order one you’ll have to choose from between 30 different paint colours named after US cities and states. And if you do buy one, drop us a line.

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