A fitting farewell: Mitsuoka’s quirky Orochi retires with styling inspired by anime robots

When a vehicle reaches the end of its production cycle, some fade away, and others go out with a bang.

Japanese manufacturer Mitsuoka once said that its offbeat Orochi “is the car to ride to gather attention from everyone,” so you can probably guess which direction it went.

The Toyota-powered Orochi’s Evangelion Edition will be the final iteration of the Japanese sports car, of which 11 will be made for around 16,000,000 Yen ($137,000).

So what’s an Evangelion? It’s a child-piloted giant cyborg designed to combat world-conquering Angels of course, and the anime characters were the inspiration for the Mitsuoka’s ridiculous paint job.

Put that together with the Orochi’s namesake, which is derived from an eight-headed eight-tailed dragon, and you start to get a handle on how bizarre it actually looks.

The thing has more neon than a Saved By The Bell set, has nostrils on the hood, wears switchblade doors, and we haven’t even gotten to the fish-like face yet. Essentially, it looks like it was created by an eight-year old who’s pretty good with highlighters and spray paint.

And that’s awesome.

With a car like this, reactions could range from wide-eyed intrigue to “that’s literally the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” but regardless of your opinion of the car’s aesthetics, it represents a strangeness that the automotive industry will surely miss.

In the words of 1980s glam metal band Cinderella, “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

The rear-wheel drive Orochi is based on the Acura NSX platform, but the engine is a 3.3-liter Toyota V6 that produces 230 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant is connected to a five-speed auto.


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