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29 September 2020

This muscle car is actually a Mazda MX-5

By Matt CampbellMatt Campbell
  • The Rockstar gets a completely new bonnet, bumper and front guards that change the look drastically. The Rockstar gets a completely new bonnet, bumper and front guards that change the look drastically.
  • The Rockstar costs ¥4,785,000 (AUD $64,375). The Rockstar costs ¥4,785,000 (AUD $64,375).
  • There's a new rear-end design with wing-style rear guards that elongate the MX-5 into its Rockstar proportions. There's a new rear-end design with wing-style rear guards that elongate the MX-5 into its Rockstar proportions.
  • The Mitsuoka Rockstar starts its life as a Mazda MX-5 1.5-litre. The Mitsuoka Rockstar starts its life as a Mazda MX-5 1.5-litre.
  • There are still MX-5 cabin technologies kept in place, so the owner doesn't have to step back in time entirely. There are still MX-5 cabin technologies kept in place, so the owner doesn't have to step back in time entirely.
  • There are muscle car inspired alloy wheels. There are muscle car inspired alloy wheels.
  • The interior sees an overhaul. The interior sees an overhaul.
  • The MX-5 dials remain. The MX-5 dials remain.

Never heard of Mitsuoka? You must have never seen the 'weird and wacky' galleries from Tokyo motor shows of years gone by. The company mantra is "building and selling cars that provide people the joy of seeing their dreams realised".

As such, the small Japanese company has made a name for itself by turning run of the mill cars into extravagant, desirable and classic-looking models that have the same head-turning appeal as a freeway billboard that says "Free Ice Cream Next Exit".

The Mitsuoka Rockstar is no exception. It starts its life as a Mazda MX-5 1.5-litre (in either manual or automatic, depending on what the customer wants), before being passed on to the hands of the craftspeople at Mitsuoka's facility to be given a muscle car overhaul.

The obvious changes include the beady-eye front-end treatment, with a completely new bonnet, bumper and front guards that change the look drastically. There is also a new rear-end design with wing-style rear guards that elongate the MX-5 into its Rockstar proportions.

It's no small stretch, either. The standard MX-5 is 3915mm long and 1735mm wide. The Rockstar - clearly having had its protein shake before taking the stage to thrash out some serious wind-in-the-hair metal - spans a considerably larger 4345mm long and 1770mm wide. 

The interior sees an overhaul, too, but there are still telltale MX-5 cabin technologies kept in place so the owner doesn't have to step back in time entirely.

The price? You're buying individuality, after all, so the ¥4,785,000 (AUD $64,375) price tag really doesn't seem all that outlandish. I mean, for Aussie buyers, that's close to what you pay for a Mustang convertible (2.3L EcoBoost auto: $60,790), and not all that much more than what a MX-5 RF GT sets you back (2.0L auto: $49,900).