The 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon happens this weekend, and Japan’s most creative tuning companies are bringing their best to the festivities. Among them is Liberty Walk, which chose to do up not a modern supercar for this year’s event but a curious old cult favorite — the infamous Mitsuoka Orochi.
Maybe you liked the Orochi’s exterior, which I’ve always described as one of the mechs from Neon Genesis Evangelion in car form. The Orochi is cool but grotesquely organic, and the same can be said of the robots in that anime. Maybe you hated its looks and prefer those of its American cohort in excess, the 2000 Pontiac Firebird. Maybe, like a certain former Jalopnik editor-in-chief, you consider it the world’s ugliest car.
However you feel, I hope we can all agree that Liberty Walk’s handiwork presents an improvement. I never thought the Orochi needed flared fenders, a deep splitter and a gigantic wing, but now that I’ve seen it as such, I will choose not to imagine it any other way.
I’m also not entirely sure why this particular Orochi carries the unmistakable livery of a classic Nissan Silvia silhouette racer. The Orochi uses an NSX platform and a Toyota V6. There’s no obvious Nissan link here, though Liberty Walk did recently work its magic on an S15 Silvia in a similar vein.
But I’m not going to ask questions; I’m simply going to admire. This Orochi really looks fresh from Super GT of the late-aughts, when weird one-offs like Vemacs roamed Japan’s circuits. In fact, there’s an Evangelion racing team that’s dabbled in the series over the last decade, and I think a widebody Orochi in the crew’s signature purple-and-green scheme would be far more on-brand than a pedestrian Mercedes-AMG GT3.
If you’re wondering what Mitsuoka’s been up to more recently, last year it started modding RAV4s to look like K5 Blazers, because that’s just the kind of company Mitsuoka is. The best kind.