Mitsuoka has produced over 12,000 units of its uniquely designed cars in the past 30 years, spanning across 19 different series and over 50 different models.
After learning about the riveting stories of the BUBU Series and the various Mitsuoka series from the 1990s, we shall explore the Mitsuoka models that were made from the 2000s up till today.
In 2000, Mitsuoka launched the Yuga, which was heavily inspired by the gorgeous design of the London Taxi. Working off of the Nissan Cube (Z10), the Yuga has found its way into many automotive markets across the globe, including the UK! That same year, Mitsuoka signed an Agreement with London Taxi International (UK) as the Sole Distributor of “New London Taxi TX1”.
Launched in 2004, the Nouera was the first non-kei car made by Mitsuoka that was not based on a Nissan model. This four-door sedan was modified from a Honda Accord, and has a classic British look to accompany the brand’s quirky embellishments. The car featured twin circular headlamps on top of its rear lights – having a grand total of six lights on the front itself!
The Nouera was followed by the second generation Nouera 6-02, which boasts the unique style of the original Nouera, but was improved for affordability and design. The Nouera series officially retired in 2016.
No one could have expected the Mitsuoka Orochi. First introduced to the world in 2001 at the 35th Tokyo Motor Show as a concept car, the company started producing this bold supercar-esque model in 2006.
The name ‘Orochi’ was derived from the mythical Yamata no Orochi 8-headed Japanese dragon. It was the first car that deviated from the neo-classic look that Mitsuoka is known for, and was very controversial due to its unconventional design.
There were several limited edition versions of the car that were launched between 2006 and 2014 that were up for commercial production, with only 20 units for each version. The final commercial model, launched in 2014, came in a distinctive purple hue known as “Fuyoru” and a “Gold Pearl” hue.
The Orochi Devilman may capture your heart, but be careful not to let it capture your soul.
Perhaps the most well-known version of the Orochi was the “Orochi Devilman” that was launched in 2018. The car was a collaboration with the artist Go Nagai, creator of Devilman Crybaby, and was limited to one unit.
Orochi also had a lesser known version that was inspired by the 1990s Evangelion anime series that boasts a multi-coloured paint scheme that resembled the robots in the anime, and was also limited to one unit.
The Himiko is the only classic two-seater convertible offered by Mitsuoka that is still in production today. It features a distinct design that reminds classic car lovers of the Jaguar XK120 and the Morgan Aero 8.
‘Himiko’ is a reference to a certain shaman Queen of Yamataikoku in ancient Wa who was known for her maturity, elegance, and assertiveness. Each unit of the Himiko is handmade by 45 craftsmen in the Mitsuoka factory in Toyama, Japan. The current model has a folding soft top, replacing its original retractable hard top.
The Mitsuoka Like is a small five-door hatchback electric car that is based on the Mitsubishi i MiEV. The name ‘Like’ is an indirect romanisation of ‘raiku’, which is a portmanteau of the Japanese character for ‘thunder’, referencing its electric powertrain.
While the original Like is no longer in production, Mitsuoka is still producing the Like T-3, which is a three-wheeled electric truck. The two-seater is able to carry a load of up to 100kg, and is popular for security patrol and shifting heavy cargo.
2011: Mitsuoka Hearse Type 4
Did you know that Mitsuoka also produces Hearses? The large, limousine-style hearse takes the design of the Galue and is based on the Nissan Teana.
(Related Story: Mitsuoka: Models Through The Years (1990-1998))
The Type 5 eventually made its way into the hearse export market in Taiwan, where stringent rules on hearses are in place for automotive companies. Due to the Hearse’s unique design, it was able to gain the attention of a Taiwanese automotive distributor that signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the Taiwanese market, which is still in effect today.
The Ryugi is Mitsuoka’s first hybrid model that is currently in production. The wagon is based on the Toyota Corolla, and is made to look like a vintage Jaguar. The vertical grille and round headlights, combined with the spacious wagon design, fuse classic and functionality to bring us an outstanding eco-friendly vehicle that is great for families and classic lovers.
2018: Rock Star
Reminiscent of the Corvette Stingray, Mitsuoka Rock Star pulls the heartstrings of convertible lovers. The Rock Star is a two-seater roadster that features the doors of the Mazda Roadster it was based off, and was made in line with Susumu Mitsuoka’s avid love for American classic cars, the Founder of Mitsuoka Motor.
The Rock Star is, along with its other models, currently in limited production, as the company seeks to maintain high-quality craftsmanship, which can only be done with low volume production. The company will only be producing 200 units of the Rock Star between 2018 to 2021.
If you would like to get your hands on your very own Mitsuoka Rock Star, the wait is over! MYCAR Pte Ltd has been awarded as the official distributor of Mitsuoka cars, officially bringing back Mitsuoka Singapore. Now, you can finally get these beautiful Mitsuoka models in Singapore at an affordable price.
For more information, visit Mitsuoka Singapore via their website (coming soon!), or join in the conversation on the official Facebook page.
All images courtesy of Mitsuoka Motor.