Mitsuoka Orochi Takes Final Bow With Five-Unit Final Edition
Our long international automotive nightmare is about to end as the Mitsuoka Orochi, slammed by many as one of the world's ugliest production vehicles, nears the end of its eight-year run. Only five special Final Edition vehicles will be sold to deep-pocketed buyers looking for a far out of the ordinary far-eastern wannabe supercar.
Debuting at the 2001 Tokyo Auto Show, the Orochi was named for the mythical (one would hope) Yamata no Orochi, an 8-headed and 8-tailed dragon slain by the Shinto storm-god. The creature's vehicular reincarnation didn't have eight heads but it did sport four eyes: an oddly canted assortment of headlights modeled much more effectively by jumping spiders.
Mitsuoka's Orochi concept definitely raised a few eyebrows but few expected the Japanese coachbuilder to follow through with a production model... which it did, in 2006. A Mitsuoka Motors spokesperson once described the so-called “Fashion-Super Car” by stating the “Orochi is the car to ride to gather attention from everyone”. In that respect at least, they succeeded in spades.
Mitsuoka has stoked the buzz over the Orochi by periodically rolling out limited edition models such as the Orochi Zero, the Orochi Kabuto, the Orochi Gold Premium and anyone's favorite, the scissor-doored convertible Orochi Nude Top (above). Now a final special edition, unimaginatively named "Final Edition", is set to close out the Orochi's unexpectedly long 8-year production run.
Mechanically, the Final Edition isn't much different from its original iteration that wowed, well, almost nobody almost a decade ago. The Orochi's giddily curvaceous bodywork (featuring two rows of hood-mounted, squid-sucker-like portholes – on a mid-engined car) rides on Honda's old NSX chassis while motive power, such as it is, comes courtesy of a Toyota-sourced 3.3-liter, V6 engine once featured in the Camry, Avalon and Sienna.
Just for comparison's sake, the original 1,370kg NSX featured a 270hp V6 while the Orochi weighs in at 1,580kg and depends upon the Toyota V6's 233 horsepower. No need to do the math: we'll just assume Mitsuoka's plan for the Orochi to gather attention from everyone includes giving onlookers a very long look as it passes by.
Like it or not, the Orochi Final Edition is very limited indeed: only five will be offered. Of those, three will be painted light Gold Pearl and two will be cloaked in a rich dark purple hue called “Furoyu”. All five are to be sticker-priced at $125,000 each. (via Digital Trends, AutoWeek, and TopSpeed)