The days of the V8-powered Dodge Challenger will soon be over. The automaker is working on a successor to the highly successful third-generation model, which won’t feature Hemi engines under the hood. There’s nothing official yet but word on the street is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six will replace the good old V8. One thing we know for sure, however, is that the car you see here is definitely not the new Challenger.
This is the Mitsuoka M55 – a concept built by the Japanese company to celebrate its 55th anniversary. It may look a lot like the Challenger but is in fact based on the current Honda Civic. This is especially evident when you look at the car in profile but from different angles – well, this could be just us seeing it – you may also notice influences from the Lancia Delta Integrale. There are almost no changes inside the cabin where we find the usual Civic layout, albeit mixed with new vintage-looking seats and a Mitsuoka logo on the steering wheel.
Gallery: Mitsuoka M55 Concept
Unfortunately, Mitsuoka did not reveal any technical details about the concept. We are tempted to say the base for the project doesn’t seem to be the Civic Type R. In Japan, Honda only sells the eleventh-generation Civic hatch with a 1.5-liter turbo engine and we suppose this is the unit sitting under the hood of the M55 concept.
Mitsuoka says the inspiration comes from the 1970s, which is when the company laid the foundation for its business development. It gained popularity for building retro-looking cars based on modern vehicles mostly from Japanese manufacturers. Most notably, the Orochi is still regarded as one of Mitsuoka’s most recognizable products with its quirky fish-like design.
As for the M55 concept, it is currently not planned for production. Mitsuoka built just a single prototype that will be displayed at two different Tokyo dealerships in December and January.