If someone asked you to describe a Corvette with adjectives, which would you choose? American? Sporty? Left-hand drive? Sure, these days the Corvette is available in right-hand drive configuration, but that’s merely a recent trend that started with the C8. For a boutique manufacturer like Japan’s Mitsuoka looking to send its Vette-aping, Miata-based Rock Star out with a bang, there was but one thing left to do: Flip the wheel and pedals over.
Mitsuoka has done just that with the Rock Star 2.0 LHD Only1 Special. That’s an excellent name, because right there it tells you everything you need to know about this final edition of the car. It’s called the Rock Star; it has the Miata’s 2.0-liter engine (Mazda offers a cheaper 1.5-liter one in Japan); it’s left-hand drive; and there is only one. The automaker is now holding a lottery to allow a lucky buyer to get it, though it isn’t cheap.
First, there’s an application fee of 500,000 yen, or about $4,355. Mitsuoka says 100 people may apply, and the 99 that aren’t awarded the privilege to obtain the car will get refunds. The application window ends on February 14 and, frankly, the idea that someone’s going to be chosen to receive a one-of-a-kind, ruby red, modern C2 Stingray on Valentine’s Day sounds pretty fitting to me.
As for that lucky winner, they’ll then have to spend 9,900,000 yen — $86,274 — on the lone left-hand-drive Rock Star. I’d say those that miss out shouldn’t be too dejected because they can still procure a K5 Blazer-inspired Mitsuoka Buddy, but those are sold out until next year, too. Everybody wants a Mitsuoka. Can you blame them?
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As for the Rock Star’s story, it was launched in 2018 to mark Mitsuoka’s 50th anniversary. It was initially priced at the equivalent of $41,000 and limited to 50 units, though in the end the company ended up cranking out 200 of them. This special edition costs more than double that, likely because of the car’s popularity and this being the last of the run — because I imagine it didn’t cost Mitsuoka tens of thousands of dollars to source a left-hand-drive Miata rather than a right-hand-drive one. Ironically, the spec sheet for this car labels it as a model year 2019 vehicle originating from Canada.
Compared to other Rock Stars, the LHD Only1 Special also gets red leather seats and door trim to match its “Passion Blood Red” exterior. Again, another excellent name. Mitsuoka, please never stop doing what you’re doing.