Its final days may be upon us, but those preparing the mourn the loss of the V8 Dodge Challenger may have a very unlikely saviour.
If you’re not familiar with Mitsuoka by now, shame on you for a start. The Japanese manufacturer (probably a stretch to describe them as such) has long been turning the country’s big-brand domestic cars into some truly strange creations. Just take a look at the Morgan-inspired, MX-5-based Himiko for a start.
Now, someone in the company seriously suggested using a Honda Civic to honour the Challenger, and better still, someone else approved it. Leading to the M55 Concept.
Technical details are non-existent for the M55, but it speaks for itself. The midriff of the car is evidently that of a Civic but the front and rear ends have been completely changed.
A boxy nose sees the addition of quad circular headlights and a grille that looks just different enough from the real thing to presumably skirt around any legal issues. The rear gets a black-out panel between the new taillights along with a ducktail spoiler and comical louvres on the rear window.
Interior changes are, seemingly, much more subtle - with the only obvious difference of note the replacing of a Honda badge with Mitsuoka branding and a set of hole-punched seats. It does clearly give away that this isn’t using an FL5 Type R as its base though, and instead a run-of-the-mill FL2 Civic.
In Japan, the regular Civic is only sold with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder rather than the hybrid we get in Europe and the UK, making the M55 good for 177bhp with power sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual.
No word yet on when the Mitsuoka M55 will be heading into production or even a remote idea of how many yen you’d need to part with, but we’ll be keeping a close eye out for more details.