Mitsuoka Motors has reported a record number of vehicle sales. As a reminder, this Japanese company specializes in extravagant conversions of serial cars to retro style.
From January to early December 2021, Mitsuoka received over 1,000 prepaid orders, the last time it crossed the four-digit milestone in 1998. For the past 15 years, the company has been selling on average only 400 cars a year.
Mitsuoka’s product line now consists of six models. The explosion of interest in the company’s products was provided by Buddy – this is a retro conversion of the Toyota RAV4, which with its style refers to the American SUVs of the 70s. More than 60% of orders received in 2021 fall on Buddy, the company has already doubled its production program from 150 to 300 copies per year, but the queue still stretched out for two years.
Recall that an unusual car was presented in November 2020, while it is being sold only in Japan. The new Mitsuoka Buddy differs from the original Toyota RAV4 with its original plumage and a modified rear end of the body. Front fenders, hood, bumper are made in retro style. With their shapes, lines, and an abundance of chrome, they refer to the classic American Chevrolet K5 Blazer SUV of the 1970-1980s.
Block headlights from RAV4 are replaced with universal “rectangles”. The radiator grill is made in the form of a nickel-plated “grill”. At the rear, the style relative to the usual RAV4 has been changed by the original bumper with a chrome trim, as well as vertical lamps from Cadillac integrated through an adapter. Chrome wheel caps complete the retro exterior.
Genuine Buddy body panels are made of polypropylene and molded ABS plastic. These technologies provide high visual quality and precise geometry.
The Mitsuoka Buddy can be based on either a regular RAV4 with a 2.0-liter petrol engine and CVT, as well as a sequential hybrid version with a 2.5-liter petrol engine and an electromechanical transmission. In both cases, the drive can be either front or all-wheel drive according to the customer’s choice.