Mitsuoka Roadster (2015): meet the MX-5 that thinks it’s a Morgan

Published: 04 June 2015

► Mitsuoka Roadster goes on sale in the UK
► Looks like a Morgan, but is based on an MX-5
► On sale in limited numbers at a price of £53,800

This bizarre mashup of MX-5, Morgan and MkII Jag is the Mitsuoka Roadster. And it’s heading to the UK.

A coachbuilding firm infamous for its oddball designs, Mitsuoka is based in Japan’s Toyama City but the Roadster will be sold in a small number of showrooms in the south of England from June 2015.

Is that a Mk3 Mazda MX-5 underneath all that retrospection?

It is, but one that’s had a fairly drastic increase in wheelbase. The front axle’s journeyed forwards by some distance but under that elongated bonnet there’s the same 2.0-litre 158bhp petrol engine as the regular MX-5 and six-speed manual gearbox. A six-speed auto with paddleshifters is an option.

The Mazda origins are most obvious in profile, carrying the doors and windscreen over unchanged. The Mistusoka also retains the powered retractable hardtop of the MX-5’s Roadster Coupe variant, and the Mazda’s front and side airbags.

No confusing it with a Mazda from the front though, with a mixture of Jaguar and Morgan styling chops and headlights borrowed from the second-generation BMW Mini.

So, how much for a Mitsuoka Roadster?

Deep breath: £53,800. But you do get Bluetooth, cruise control, heated leather seats and climate control for your money. Sat-nav’s an option.

Click here for CAR's review of the new 2015 Mazda MX-5.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer