It costs nearly twice as much as a Mazda Miata in the US.
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Mitsuoka. Based in Japan, the firm specializes in creating outlandish custom cars but is perhaps best known for producing the mid-engine Orochi sports car. Its latest creation is called the Mitsuoka Rock Star, which, like its previous project, the Himiko, is based on the Mazda MX5 Miata. Except this time, it’s dressed in Corvette clothing.
Specifically, the body is inspired by a second-generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. It’s a surprising choice since the company usually mimics British and European cars. Credit where credit’s due though because Mitsuoka has done a commendable job replicating the American sports car. Turns out the proportions of the Miata make for a good base car to build a replica C2 Corvette Stingray.
On the outside, the donor car is completely unrecognizable. At the front, the car has been equipped with a new front fascia featuring chrome bumpers and circular headlights. There’s also a new ventilated hood, new quarter panels and a retro-inspired rear end with circular taillights. Seemingly, only the doors and windshield have been carried over from the Miata. It's a different story inside, however, as the interior has been left unchanged reminding you that you’re still sat inside a Miata.
Don’t let the car’s looks deceive you either, as it doesn’t deliver Corvette performance. Under the hood is the Miata’s original 1.5-liter SKYACTIV-G engine that produces 130 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque. It can be connected to a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic.
In contrast, the second-generation Corvette was launched with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that produced between 250 hp and 360 hp. Later versions were offered with more powerful engines including a 7.0-liter V8 developing a reported 435 hp. We wouldn’t have complained if Mitsuoka performed an engine swap to make its pretend Corvette more authentic. In Japan, pricing for the Mitsuoka Rock starts at 4,688,200 Yen, which is around $41,000 and nearly twice as much as a Miata, which starts at $26,625 in the US. Only 50 examples are being built to celebrate Mitsuoka’s 50th anniversary.