Ever heard of Mitsuoka?
This company is a small Japanese manufacturer known for its odd-ball and retro-looking cars which include the Orochi, Le Seyde, and more recently, the Rockstar; a Mazda Miata made to look like a classic Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Now they’ve expanded their lineup even more with the addition of a new model – the Buddy – and it’s a crossover.
Like all of Mitsuoka’s other vehicles, both past and present, the Buddy is made to look like an older vehicle, specifically an 80s Chevrolet pickup – the C10. From the two-tier square headlights down to the chrome bumpers and even the large trunk trim, the Buddy has all the elements of an `80s Chevrolet SUV and pick-up. However, they did incorporate modern touches including LED DRLs on the grill and modern LED taillights. To complete the look, it even comes with retro wheels and chunky all-terrain tires.
Underneath the American inspired design, however, the Buddy is actually a Toyota RAV4. Even though the front and rear ends have been heavily restyled, it is still easy to distinguish the RAV4’s original lines. From the doors to the blackened fenders, it is very much Toyota’s crossover. No photos of the interior were provided, but we expect it is largely be carried over from the Toyota counterpart albeit with some of Mitsuoka's design touches.
Just like the RAV4 in Japan, the Mitsuoka Buddy is available in various trim levels. Depending on the model, it also available with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine or a hybrid 2.5-liter mill with the option of 4WD. The lower-tier variants are finished in one color only and do not include the retro-styled wheels. Meanwhile, the two-tone variants get a white roof, more odd-ball color choices, and the classic SUV-looking wheels.
The Mitsuoka Buddy will officially debut on November 26 in Japan. No price has been announced, but we assume it will be a bit more expensive over a standard Toyota RAV4. The design is not everyone's cup of tea, but it sure stands out.