Mitsuoka, the world’s leading producer of Nissans re-made to look like sub-scale Jaguar Mark 2s, has just—and I do mean just now—unveiled their new, completely re-designed Miata-based roadster, now based on the latest Mazda MX-5. It’s called the Himiko I think it’s my favorite flavor of new Miata you can buy today.
Mitsuoka has offered a Miata-based Himiko roadster since 2008, when its basic template was set: take a Mazda MX-5, stretch it a bit in front of the A-pillar, and re-body it so it looks something like what you would get if you cultured Morgan Aero 8 and Jaguar XK120 cells in a petri dish.
Just a few minutes ago, Mitsuoka unveiled their first major re-design of the roadster, and while it definitely sticks to he same basic theme, there’s some clear differences.
For comparison, here’s the current—well, now previous—generation of the Himiko Roadster:
Note the headlights taken from a Mini, same as what Morgan does with the Aero 8. The car has some real, if cartoonish, presence, sort of like a modern-day Excalibur or Zimmer.
I’m sort of a sucker for this kind of over-the-top crap.
And, here’s another look at the all-new Himiko:
Mitsuoka’s website says the concept is “Beautiful Assassin,” which, you gotta admit, is pretty exciting as far as concepts go. I mean, it’s one of the few cars that’s based, thematically, on someone who’s job it is to kill you.
It still looks quite close to the previous Roadster, but there’s some interesting two-tone treatment going on in the front fenders, with their black lower sections. There’s also a nice vertical DRL lamp set into the central fender crease as well, about where a natural highlight or reflection might be.
The front fender side also has a raised triangular section, to add some graphical interest to the side of the car. I’m not sure it actually needed that, but I don’t mind it.
The rear bustle-back trunk is black as well, carrying over the theme from the front fenders.
Headlights appear to still be from a Mini.
The Interior is quite clearly from the Miata, though the seats have been fancied-up a bit:
Mechanically, it’s a Mazda MX-5, which is good news, really, because that means you get the exotic looks without the exotic maintenance headaches. It is, as you can probably tell, a good bit longer than a Miata.
It’s actually a sinister-sounding 666mm longer, or just over two feet, and all that extra space is between the windshield and the front wheels, so if you’ve always wanted a Miata but felt there just wasn’t enough hood for you to look out over, this is the car for you.
It also weighs about 300 pounds more, I think, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to race one.
I’m not kidding about this being my favorite version of the current Miata—this thing is over-the-top and fun, and life is for the living, dammit.
Hooray for Mitsuoka, a gleaming beacon of non-boring in an increasingly dull world.