Last October, Mitsuoka, a quirky little Japanese manufacturer you’ve likely never heard of, announced the Rock Star—a C2 Corvette-inspired Mazda MX-5 Miata. On paper, it sounds ridiculous. However, in execution, the results appear pleasantly satisfying. Mitsuoka announced the Rock Star in celebration of its 50th anniversary, and would only build 50 examples. Four months after announcing the car, Mitsuoka has sold all 50, according to Road & Track.
Underneath the Rock Star’s American-Inspired exterior is a latest-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. That means the Miata’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine powers the vehicle. Granted, it’s not impossible to give the Rock Star proper Corvette power—like a Chevrolet LS3 V8. Such an engine swap is about as iconic as the Miata and Corvette themselves.
While the Rock Star isn’t a dead ringer for the C2 Corvette in the looks department, the execution is still breathtaking. The Miata’s smaller proportions won’t let anyone mistake Mitsuoka’s creation for an actual Corvette. However, the Japanese manufacturer has translated many of the C2 Corvette’s iconic styling cues onto the small roadster.
The sculpted hood, chrome grille, and sharp wheel arches are what sell the car’s Corvette aesthetics. At the rear, there are large arches over the rear wheels, with round taillights and chrome accents at the rear completing the look. It appears the only body panels that have remained stock are the doors and windshield.
In the past, Mitsuoka has focused on translate the designs of European cars onto the Miata platform. The Rock Star, however, is the company’s first American project, and it’s done a darn good job infusing American influences with the iconic roadster’s small footprint.
When Mitsuoka introduced the Rock Star, it also introduced some very American exterior colors. They all honor American cities or states—Los Angeles Blue, Chicago Red, New York Black, Cisco Orange, Washington White, and Arizona Yellow. A Mitsuoka Rock Star costs about $41,000 depending on exchange rates. However, if you live in the U.S., you can’t buy one. You’ll have to wait 25 years to import one.