The Mitsuoka Buddy is the latest and interesting bet of this curious Japanese project, a bodybuilder that uses current vehicles from companies such as Mazda and Toyota to create striking classic-style models. Beneath this sturdy SUV that reminds us of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban from the 1990s hides a reliable and efficient 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
The Mitsuoka Buddy is another of those peculiarities that we can only find in markets such as the Japanese because despite its attractive and elaborate appearance it is not a resto-mod-style one-off, but a kit intended to be mass-produced and that it can be ordered by any user in that market.
Mitsuoka Buddy Design
This is not the first time that Mitsuoka has surprised us with one of its rework jobs inspired by classic American vehicles. The first time we talked about this particular Japanese company was when we showed you the images of the attractive Mitsuoka Rock Star, in our opinion, one of the most spectacular and best-done rework jobs we have seen in recent times. This is based on the current Mazda MX-5 and its lines are taken directly from the Chevrolet Corvette C2 Sting Ray.
The new Mitsuoka Buddy is as visually attractive as work as the Rock Star but aimed at a much more demanded segment, that of compact crossovers. To do this, this small Japanese company offers an attractive solid-looking SUV inspired by the American models of the 1990s. With a fairly muscular body and a completely flat front end, equipped with a huge front grille and double-height headlights. A design that reminds us of models like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban of that time.
However, despite numerous cosmetic changes, the model taken as the basis is a 2020 Toyota RAV4. A model that has nothing to do on an aesthetic or technical level with the SUVs that Chevy made 30 years ago. The Japanese crossover has a very different approach and can count on much more efficient advanced hybrid mechanics. However, the Mitsuoka modifications give it a much more striking bodywork, which even makes the model appear much larger than it is.
This new work from Mitsuoka will be available to all users of the Japanese crossover, although it will inevitably only be marketed in its home market. At the moment we do not have the prices of this creation, but we know that it will retain the same mechanical hybrid scheme of the donor model, which in Japan is available with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine of 171 hp (168 hp) and the same 2.5-liter hybrid of 1748 hp (175 hp) which is available in other markets.