Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
1 minute read
29 Oct 2020
3:32 pm

Mitsuoka Buddy revealed as a 1980’s US-styled SUV with modern Toyota origins

Charl Bosch

Despite the retro looks, the Buddy is all modern up front with a choice of two engines, including a very un-1980's hybrid option.

Mitsuoka Buddy hides its modern Toyota RAV4 foundations underneath a 1980s era inspired body

Quirky Japanese automaker Mitsuoka has unveiled its latest creation that pays homage to certain General Motors and Jeep SUVs from over 40 years ago.

Known for its wacky creations such as the Nissan Micra-based but Jaguar Mark II inspired Viewt, the Rolls-Royce aping Galue and most famously, the Toyota V6-powered Orochi sport car, the new Buddy is based on the Toyota RAV4 but features a front-end facia similar to the 1980s era Chevrolet C/K pick-up and two-door K5 Blazer SUV.

While the side profile is unchanged from that of the RAV4, sans the 80’s style alloy wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres with period white naming, the rear has been changed altogether with the fitting of vertical taillights, a steel rear bumper, repositioned dual exhaust outlets and a new tailgate with a prominent black Mitsuoka centre logo – the entire look drawing visual hints from not only the original Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but also certain Cadillac from the same era. No interior images were revealed.

Available in three trim levels; LX, DX and ST, two very modern engines are offered though, both from the RAV4; the 125 kW normally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol and the 132 kW 2.5-litre hybrid, only offered in the mid-and-top-range trim guises. Orders are said to open on 26 November with pricing being unknown with sales likely to be restricted to Japan.

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