Mar­vel­lous MX-5 mad­ness from Japan

Total MX-5 - - NEWS -

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.

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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