Meet the MX5 that thinks it’s a Morgan
Mitsuoka is a famously odd-ball coach building company from Toyama City in Japan, famous for retro designs with a very definite hint of classic Jaguar in so much of what they do. At first glance it is hard to recognise the MX5 under that very ‘retro’d’ skin. To start with, there has been a very drastic increase in the wheel base with the front wheels having gone on a long journey towards the front under that very stretched bonnet. But under the hood there is the same 2.0-litre 158bhp petrol engine mated to the regular six-speed gear box.
The passenger cabin remains very much MX5, with the doors and windscreen remaining so that Mitsuoka could utilise the same superfast power-retractable hard top, supposedly the world’s fastest. You will also get the kit from the plushest and highly-equipped outgoing MX5, and headlights borrowed from the MKII Mini Cooper. But then, with a price tag of US$83,000, similar to the price of a Porsche Cayman, you may be left feeling a little under-equipped.
So, the roadster is from a company with barely any credibility outside of Japan and it is going to cost an eye-watering amount of money for what really is just an MX5. But I have driven the MX5 and found it to be to my liking and I sort of like the retro styling cues from Morgan and Jaguar. Maybe, just maybe, if they make it available in Malaysia, it may be worth a second look.