Mitsuoka Is Going To Build The Honda Civic-Turned-Dodge Challenger

It looks (a bit) like the recently deceased Challenger, and it’s powered by the same flammable liquid, but don’t get too excited: it’s a Honda Civic underneath
Mitsuoka Is Going To Build The Honda Civic-Turned-Dodge Challenger

Ah, Mitsuoka. Japan’s most eccentric, least serious car maker can always be relied on to inject a little fun into an increasingly straight-faced, serious car market. Take this, the M55, for instance, which gives the recently-deceased petrol-powered Dodge Challenger a new lease of life. Sort of.

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.

Last year, 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.

Now, the best news yet: Mitsuoka is going to put it into production. The company announced in a press release today that it aims to have the M55 on the market in Japan at some point in 2025.

Gloriously low-res images don't seem to do the M55 justice
Gloriously low-res images don't seem to do the M55 justice

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.

Nothing screams muscle car like hole-punched seats
Nothing screams muscle car like hole-punched seats

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.

Mitsuoka says Japanese availability and pricing will be announced in due course, with numbers to be limited due to the hand-built nature of the bodywork. We wouldn’t bet on a UK release. Although the Himiko was sold here in small numbers as the Roadster, we’re not really sure the appetite is there in Europe for a Japanese hatchback made to look like an American muscle car. Shame.

Anyway, the petition starts here for a Type R-based, widebodied Hellcat homage. You know you want to, Mitsuoka.


No comments found.

Sponsored Posts