Mitsuoka Orochi

Mitsuoka Orochi launch eventJapanese automaker Mitsuoka has revealed the production version of it's unique-looking mid-engined Orochi sports car, along with the car's production plans, pricing, and specifications. The Orochi, named for an eight-headed serpent out of Japanese folklore, first appeared as a 2001 concept car, and from the looks of things, the production vehicle stays very true to the concept. The Orochi was introduced at a press conference that opened with a Kabuki show (above right), during which a white example of the sports car was driven onstage.

In the past, we've seen the Orochi referred to as a supercar, but while it looks as (if not more) exotic as just about any limited-production vehicle on the planet, it lacks the performance credentials (on paper, at least) to put it in supercar territory. In fact, the powertrain will be familiar to many. The 3.3L V6 mounted aft of the passenger compartment is Toyota's well-known 3MZ-FE, which sees duty in the Camry, Solara, Sienna, Highlander, and Lexus RX (hybrid and standard versions). It makes around 230 horsepower and is connected to a Toyota 5-speed automatic. The decision was made to place efficiency and ease of use ahead of high performance.

Speaking of performance, no numbers were released along with the technical specifications, but don't expect anything earth-shattering. The car's average power, combined with a weight of approximately 3,400 pounds (around 100 less than a Solara), is not a recipe for big-time track numbers. In Japan, though, exclusivity seems to trump all, and that's a commodity the Orichi has in abundance. So what if it has just 230 horsepower? In Japan, arriving anywhere in one of these will bestow instant superstar status upon the driver.

400 Orochis will be built over the next four years, each costing ¥10,500,000 (around $89,000 USD). Orders can be placed beginning today with the first deliveries taking place in January 2007.

(Photos, tech specs after the jump)

[Source: Carview (translated)]

Production Version:



2001 Concept:


Technical Specifications:

Total length / Width / Total height = 4560mm / 2035mm / 1180mm
Wheelbase: 2600mm
Ground Clearance: 130mm
Vehicle weight: 1580kg
Passengers: 2
Engine: 3.3L V6DOHC (Toyota 3MZ-FE)
Max output: 233ps (172kW) at 5600rpm
Max torque: 33.4kg-m (328Nm) at 4400rpm
Fuel capacity: 60 liters (unleaded premium)
Transmission: 5-speed AT (Toyota)
Drive system: Mid-engine/rear drive
Suspension: front and rear double wishbone
Tires: Front: 245/45ZR18, Rear: 285/40ZR18
Body: hand made FRP make body
Door: side impact door with built-in steel beams
Chassis: handmade steel space frame

Equipment:
Low-beam side HID, motorized door mirror, airbags, automatic A/C, the Panasonic HDD Navigation, power windows, immobilizer, and full leather interior all standard