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Mazda Miata becomes C2 Corvette tribute in Japan

by Ronan Glon

It's a limited-edition model.

Mitsuoka, Japan's uncontested champion of the unconventional, has turned the Mazda MX-5 Miata into a retro-styled roadster inspired by the second-generation Chevrolet Corvette. The limited-edition Rock Star is on-sale now on the Japanese market.

The Rock Star's front end channels the look of early variants of the Corvette Stingray with features like a chromed, two-part bumper and a pair of vents chiseled into a custom-designed hood. The shape of the front fenders echoes the Corvette's design, too, but Mitsuoka stopped short of hiding the headlights under the sheet metal.

The retro treatment continues out back, and period-correct-looking five-spoke alloy wheels are offered at an extra cost, but the doors and the a-pillars reveal the Rock Star's origins. The interior remains unchanged.

You won't find a 427 V8 under the hood. The Rock Star retains the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Japanese-spec Miata. It channels 129 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through either a manual or an automatic transmission. There's no word on what effect (if any) the new body has on performance or handling.

Mitsuoka will build 50 examples of the Rock Star to celebrate its 50th birthday. Motor1 reports pricing starts at 4,688,200 yen, a sum that represents about $41,000 at the current exchange rate.

If the Corvette isn't your thing, Mitsuoka can turn the Miata into an extra-long, Excalibur-esque convertible called Himiko. You'll lose what you gain in prestige in handling prowess, however.