Automotive

Mitsuoka brings some (very expensive) Japanese quirkiness to the London Motor Show

Mitsuoka brings some (very exp...
Mitsuoka has been around since 1968, but this is the first time they've made it to the UK
Mitsuoka has been around since 1968, but this is the first time they've made it to the UK
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The front is the Viewt's most convincing angle
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The front is the Viewt's most convincing angle
The Mitsuoka Viewt on display in London
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The Mitsuoka Viewt on display in London
The Viewt has a hint of London Cab to its profile
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The Viewt has a hint of London Cab to its profile
The Mitsuoka Viewt looks like a Jaguar MK2 was described to an amateur artist down an average phone line
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The Mitsuoka Viewt looks like a Jaguar MK2 was described to an amateur artist down an average phone line
The Roadster's grille is big and brash, but doesn't help its styling
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The Roadster's grille is big and brash, but doesn't help its styling
The Mitsuoka could be confused for something like a Weissman from the rear.
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The Mitsuoka could be confused for something like a Weissman from the rear.
The Roadster has 188 hp, and there are manual and automatic options available
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The Roadster has 188 hp, and there are manual and automatic options available
The Mitsuoka Roadster is based on a Mazda MX-5, but costs £30,000 more
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The Mitsuoka Roadster is based on a Mazda MX-5, but costs £30,000 more
The Mitsuoka Brooklands on display in London
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The Mitsuoka Brooklands on display in London
The Brooklands' interior is trimmed in beige leather with contrast stitching
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The Brooklands' interior is trimmed in beige leather with contrast stitching
The interior is unmistakably from an NC Mazda MX-5
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The interior is unmistakably from an NC Mazda MX-5
The Roadster's styling is reminiscent of Morgan's classic design
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The Roadster's styling is reminiscent of Morgan's classic design
Mitsuoka has brought the Roadster to the UK for the first time
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Mitsuoka has brought the Roadster to the UK for the first time
The Roadster can be had as an automatic or manual car
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The Roadster can be had as an automatic or manual car
The Roadster's styling is designed to hark back to classic British sports cars
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The Roadster's styling is designed to hark back to classic British sports cars
The Roadster is powered by a 2.0-liter engine
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The Roadster is powered by a 2.0-liter engine
The Roadster will set you back £53,000, even though it's a Mazda MX-5 underneath
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The Roadster will set you back £53,000, even though it's a Mazda MX-5 underneath
The Mitsuoka Viewt is designed to look like a Jaguar MK2
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The Mitsuoka Viewt is designed to look like a Jaguar MK2
Mitsuoka has been around since 1968, but this is the first time they've made it to the UK
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Mitsuoka has been around since 1968, but this is the first time they've made it to the UK
The Brooklands is a special version of the Roadster
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The Brooklands is a special version of the Roadster
Woodgrain trim and beige leather can't hide the fact this is an MX-5 underneath
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Woodgrain trim and beige leather can't hide the fact this is an MX-5 underneath

You might not have heard of Mitsuoka, but the boutique brand has been manufacturing cars for Japan-based Anglophiles since 1968. The company's Brooklands, Viewt and Roadster are all being offered in the UK for the first time, posing the question: do British buyers really want an expensive Japanese knock-off version of the cars they grew up with?

Viewt

The Mitsuoka Viewt is designed to look like a Jaguar MK2
The Mitsuoka Viewt is designed to look like a Jaguar MK2

The oddly-named Viewt is designed to evoke memories of the 1963 Jaguar MK2. With round headlamps, a grand chrome grille and bulbous curves, the car could pass off as a distant relative of the MK2. And by that, we mean very distant, because from some angles the Viewt looks like someone described an MK2 to an amateur artist down a crackly phone line.

If there's enough interest shown at the London Motor Show, Mitsuoka says they will ship cars to the UK, with prices ranging between £23,000 (US$33,326) and £29,000 ($42,020). You will have to wait about six months for the car to arrive once you've ordered it, though, and that money will buy you a BMW 3 Series.

Considering the Viewt comes with a 1.2-liter engine, and the press release says "all models are highly equipped" with features like ABS, air conditioning and power steering, you might be better off in the BMW, too.

Roadster

The Roadster can be had as an automatic or manual car
The Roadster can be had as an automatic or manual car

If you thought £23,000 was a lot for a wacky throwback Jaguar, wait until you hear how much the Roadster costs. Although Mitsuoka doesn't explicitly mention the Mazda MX-5 in its press materials, there's little doubt this car was built on the same platform as the world's favorite roadster.

Opening the door reveals an interior that, save for the badge on the steering wheel, is identical to the NC MX-5's, and the car's 2.0-liter engine is making the same 158 hp (118 kW) of power and 188 Nm (139 lb.ft) of torque as the previous generation Miata.

But, whereas a brand-new NC MX-5 will cost you about as much as a Viewt, the Roadster will cost you around £53,000 ($76,800). No that's not a misprint, you're paying a £30,000 ($43,475) premium for someone to take an old MX-5 and make it less attractive.

Brooklands

The Brooklands is a special version of the Roadster
The Brooklands is a special version of the Roadster

The Brooklands is a limited edition version of the regular Roadster, with handmade wire wheels, contrast beige and green stitching on the inside to set it apart from its more mundane stablemate.

There's no mention of a power boost, but the price has been bumped up by £3,700 ($5,361) to reflect the extra work that's gone into creating the Brooklands. Crazy though it might sound, this is the Mitsuoka we'd have. After all, if you're going to drop more than £50,000 on a Mazda MX-5, you might as well go all in.

The cars are on display at the London Motor Show, where Gizmag is on the ground covering all the action. Check out the gallery to enjoy the Viewt, Roadster and Brooklands in all their faux-British glory.

Source: Mitsuoka

5 comments
Lewis M. Dickens III
YES!! Quirky beyond belief. I suspect that they are well made but they do need a little help. b
Nostromo47
The writer here seems to have a curious negative bent for all the offerings from this carmaker. He considers the two seat coupe and roadster to be little more than unworthy and pricey rehashes of the Miata. While I am also a fan of the venerable Japanese roadster, to my eye, the photos of the Mitsuoka Roadster and Brooklands appear to be quite appealing in the classic sportscar sense.
MattII
Best of both worlds, maintain the traditional looks, but ditch the atrocious maintenance.
DaveSaus
Those are NOT handmade wire wheels. They are not even machine made wire wheels. :(
netean@gmail.com
I think the Roadster looks pretty epic from the front and sides but the rear looks like it a different car altogether. The other though... well that's certainly.. interesting!