2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
The Japanese love German sports cars. But what is a BMW M3, an AMG-Mercedes or a Porsche 911 against the super flounder Mitsuoka Orochi?
By Stefan Grundhoff
The residents of Tokyo have been staring their eyes for months. A snappy racer from the Far East populates the streets there - admittedly in homeopathic doses. More fish than car, more flounder than racing car - that's the Mitsuoka Orochi. What if the first orochi came to Germany? Maybe even doing his first laps on the Nordschleife? The Japanese invasion of the European sports car market is currently unlikely, but the Mitsuoka Orochi would be worth competing with the best of the best in the toughest car market in the world.
The Orochi (translated means mighty snake), presented for the first time as a concept study at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001, is a splendid eye-catcher like hardly any other on the global sports car market. As angular and puristic as a Lamborghini Gallardo is presented, the Orochi crouches on the street as organic, rounded and elegant. The well-known car-crazy Japanese fans had to wait a long time before the first super flounder was delivered to customers.
Some had already feared that the exclusively handcrafted orochi would get stuck in Mitsuoka Motors' exhibition study pipeline. Company founder and sports car fan Mitsuoka, based in Toyama, has long made a name for himself as a car freak on the home market. Similar to the German auto tuner Bitter in the 1970s, he created his own vehicles that looked astonishingly similar to models such as Jaguar MK II and Rolls Royce.
In his latest prank, Mitsuoka has copied from none other than Batman, because the dark paintwork of the less than 1.20 meter high orochi could also come from such a film set. Similar to the German hobbyist Bitter, Mitsuoka's architecture is primarily limited to the body and chassis.
The 4.56 meter long orochi, which with its four-eyes face is like a mixture on a Maserati MC12 and a Ferrari F430, is powered by a well-known Lexus engine from the RX 330. The 3.4 liter six-cylinder in mid-engine design has an output of 170 kW / 231 hp and a maximum torque of 330 Nm. The engine power is transferred to the rear axle by a Lexus five-speed automatic transmission.
Despite the slightly modified electronics, it is designed for comfort and not for sprinting ability. This also explains the manageable dynamics from 0 to 100 km / h in just under seven seconds and a top speed of limited 250 km / h. Hardly anyone in Japan cares. You can drive a maximum of 100 km / h on most motorways.
As spectacular as the body of the Orochi is presented with unusual curves, few edges and surprising waves, the interior is just as ordinary. Tight leather chairs leave no doubt that you have taken a seat in a real sports car. Lots of leather, grippy steering and a little matching automatic selector lever form a mixture of the Honda S2000 and Lexus GS 430. The pilot is impressive - or not. Despite a wheelbase of 2.5 meters, shoulder and headroom are subjectively even less than reality. It's gloomy, the rear window is tiny and only a small part of the side windows can be opened electrically.
In Japan, the almost 1.7-ton Mitsuoka Orochi has been on the market since the end of April. At prices from just under 12 million yen, which corresponds to around 75,000 euros. Not yet available is the Mitsuoka Orochi Kabuto, which celebrated its world premiere at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October and is supposed to be even sportier than its brother with lightweight construction elements such as carbon and carbon fiber. You look forward to your first trip to Germany. The competition will be amazed.