Toyota RAV4 gets retro Chevy Blazer vibes thanks to Mitsuoka

Toyota RAV4 gets retro Chevy Blazer vibes thanks to Mitsuoka

If you’ve always wanted one Toyota RAV4 it looks like it actually came from Detroit in the 1980s, let me introduce you Mitsuoka. The tiny Japanese automaker made a name for itself by transforming today’s cars into truly incredible vehicles – or downright hideous expressions of creativity, depending on your opinion.

The latest creation is the Mitsuoka Buddy. The company posted a teaser video for this really weird SUV on Tuesday. It looks a lot like I was trying to Photoshop a concept car, and I assure you, I’m not very good at Photoshop. Some here on the roadshow call it charming; I don’t quite see it that way. This is where the whole “your opinion” matter comes in.

Personal feelings aside, the Buddy begins life as a modern Toyota RAV4, as you can see on the greenhouse and wheel arches. From there, Mitsuoka tinkers various parts of other vehicles together to create something familiar and yet completely foreign. The front works best for me, with its allusions to vintage pickups and SUVs from the 1980s – maybe a Chevy Blazer with a body on the frame. The chunky tires and steel wheels are pretty good too.

This RAV4-based Mitsuoka really loves the American retro vibes, eh, buddy?


For me, the rear is falling apart with chunky proportions and taillights that are clearly from a first generation Cadillac XT5. It feels like I’m staring at two separate cars depending on your angle, but it’s all part of Mitsuoka charm, I was told.

I’m not a Mitsuoka hater: the guys and gals in Japan did a wonderful job on an earlier creation called Rock Star. This project saw one Mazda MX-5 Miata turned into a C2 generation Corvette and I was 100% there for it. We’ll have to wait for the company to be ready to share more about their buddy, but in the meantime, you can enjoy the wholesome video for the car’s teaser embedded above.

Look at that:

Check out the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Offroad


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