For those individuals that just need to drive something different, there’s Mitsuoka.
The Japanese car customizer and coachbuilder has been around since the 1960s, and has built up a reputation over the years for turning mundane vehicles into retro designs that definitely stand out.
The company’s latest creation is a five-door hatchback that blends elements of the Dodge Challenger and other muscle cars, and is based on the platform of a Honda Civic, specifically the Civic Hatchback.
It’s known as the M55, and currently it’s only a concept. Mitsuoka said it built the concept to capture the mood at the time of the company’s founding, when Japan started adopting elements of American culture, hence the resemblance to the original Challenger. The rear window louvers were often a signature style piece in the muscle era of the late ’60s and the following decade.
Mitsuoka hasn’t mentioned any details on what’s lurking under the hood. The Civic Hatchback is currently offered with the choice of a 158-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 or a 180-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4, and it’s likely one of these powertrains powers the M55. An interior shot reveals Mitsuoka has opted for the Civic’s 6-speed manual transmission rather than the car’s available CVT.
The Civic Hatchback is also the basis for the Civic Type R which sports a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that’s good for 315 hp, but Mitsuoka hasn’t used the Type R for the M55.
Mitsuoka plans to display the M55 at its showroom in Tokyo from Nov. 24 to Dec. 16, and then at its showroom in Toyama from Jan. 12-28. Should it have enough takers, it’s possible a production version will follow.
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