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