Home » A Company Turned A Honda Civic Into A Dodge Challenger And It’s Weirdly Perfect

A Company Turned A Honda Civic Into A Dodge Challenger And It’s Weirdly Perfect

Mitsuoka This Is A Honda Ts2
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Mitsuoka is a car company best described as the automotive equivalent of a Tokyo burger joint. It’s a thoroughly Japanese company that is ultimately quite obsessed with the American aesthetic. The company is now celebrating its 55th anniversary, and it’s put together a very special car for the occasion.

Enter the M55 Concept—a sort of strange neo-modern car with a muscular visage, akin to something you might see in an early-90s anime set in the near future. True to Mitsuoka’s form, it places stunning American styling tropes on an excellent Japanese base. Previously, the company has turned the RAV4 into a Blazer tribute, and the MX-5 into a stunning cover version of the Corvette. Now, it’s turned the eleventh-generation Honda Civic into a fastback that apes the Dodge Challenger.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

There are a lot of classic muscle elements here, from the squared-off indents in the hood, to the four round headlights and the blacked-out grille.  It’s pure Challenger, right down to the lip spoiler. The louvers on the rear are a further nod to the 1960s, while the rear end also gets a subtle little ducktail spoiler, too. The tail lights are a particular treat, with their rounded and simple form a salve in a modern world full of jagged, angular designs. Sdf (2)

Inside, Mitsuoka has blessed the concept with an eye-catching set of seats in a rich blue leather, and riveted for a sense of purpose. In perhaps the model’s sole aesthetic flaw, there’s an ungainly square “Mitsuoka” badge on the wheel filling in for where Honda’s H would usually go. The rest of the build is exquisite, but that’s a touch of a letdown. The wheels are also a touch too petite, but the sporty design and white-lettered Michelins nonetheless look the part.

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Mitsuoka has never really been a company that has built cars to crow about performance. Instead, it’s all about the style. Thus, underneath, the car is still just a Honda Civic. That means it’s front-wheel-drive with good fuel economy and quality handling.

That might sound disappointing, but for Mitsuoka, this ethos has worked for a long time. In a way, it makes sense. A Honda Civic is far more practical to drive around Japan than a full-fat Dodge Challenger, especially when you think about fuel. Thus, what to do for the eager enthusiast who wants American style in a car that suits the homeland? Well, Mitsuoka is there to help.

Japanese tuner Mitsuoka creates retro-inspired Honda Civic concept

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Japanese tuner Mitsuoka creates retro-inspired Honda Civic concept

For now, it’s just a concept, and it’s set to tour Mitsuoka’s Japanese dealerships over the next few months. However, we could easily see something like this entering production if the interest is there. Ultimately, it looks brilliant, like most of Mitsuoka’s work, so here’s hoping the customers bite and Japan gets to see some of these out on the roads someday.

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Miguel Plano
Miguel Plano
6 months ago

I don’t see the Dodge homage, sorry. The front end, the grille and rear of the car evoques more the lines of a 1975 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT Hardtop C110, which would make more sense for a Japanese market.

AH
AH
6 months ago

You’re all wrong. The front is an homage to the first gen Accord.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
6 months ago

I believe if they stanced the car a little it would work out better. All in all, I dig it.

Eva
Eva
6 months ago

I love the look of Mitsuoka’s cars, if it was possible to get the Buddy (the Blazerfied RAV4) in the US I would be all over it.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
6 months ago

The newer Civic dash, with a manual is my favorite modern car interior. I’d have to delete the ugly screen tacked on the top, then it’s perfect. Knobs for climate controls, a shifter and nothing else. Like a car should be. I don’t need NAV and a bluetooth phone to amp for the stereo would be all that is needed.

Goblin
Goblin
6 months ago

I find this thing cutely cute and an excellent effort.
Anything north of a sledgehammer on a Civic is an improvement, it is true, so they didn’t have to do much, and yet they did.

Scott
Scott
6 months ago

I know the Civic sedan proportions aren’t quite right Challenger-wise, but it’s still an appealing result. What’s really impressive is that the reworked nose and tail look SO much better than on the actual Civic, even if the resulting car doesn’t look part of the model line-up anymore. IMO, Honda should license the nose/tail bodywork from Mitsuoka and offer this as a factory option. They never would of course, but in my fantasy universe… 😉

Last edited 6 months ago by Scott
Eric Smith
Eric Smith
6 months ago

The wheels are also a touch too petite, but the sporty design and white-lettered Michelins nonetheless look the part.

Oh this would be perfect with some steelies and a little fatter tire. Lean into the classic muscle. The wheels and tires are the one thing that’s totally out of place. Otherwise that thing is just pure <chef’s kiss>.

R53forfun
R53forfun
6 months ago

I love this thing! In profile, it reminds me of my grandfather’s Datsun 240K GT (4th gen Skyline) in Australia … which was obvs not a Honda, but same vibes.

Last edited 6 months ago by R53forfun
Black Peter
Black Peter
6 months ago
Reply to  R53forfun

yeah! I was going to say Gen 1 Celica, but, yeah, it’s a dead ringer (with 4 doors) for the Datsun..

Anoos
Anoos
6 months ago

Nose is the only thing that really looks Challenger, and IMHO it is not well integrated. It looks really awkward in profile.

The rest of the car makes me think of a cool old Mazda rather than a Dodge.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
6 months ago

It’s a cute car but there’s nothing on this that make me think Challenger. I guess my eyes are broken.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
6 months ago

Just imagine a Mitsuoka version of a Superbird / Daytona.

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