Mitsuoka announces production of “M55” Honda-based Kenmeri Skyline

Mitsuoka announced on February 29 that it will put the M55, shown last November as a concept, into production. The M55 was built to mark Mitsuoka’s 55th anniversary and is based on a modern Honda Civic, but the body has been completely restyled as an homage to the Kenmeri Nissan Skyline.

Since the unveiling Mitsuoka has showed the M55 concept at its showrooms in Azabu and Toyama. Over a period of about a month, the company received over 1,300 messages from potential customers. Mitsuoka originally did not know whether it could deliver all the cars requested, since each one is hand made. But now it believes that it will be able to secure the number of units to put the M55 into production.

Mitsuoka has made a business out of turning everyday cars into classics from Europe (like the Jaguar-inspired Viewt) and America (like the Chevy-inspired Buddy). This is the first time they’ve created a tribute to a domestic car. The Kenmeri is probably the most nostalgic car for the average Japanese, thanks in no small part to the beloved Ken & Mary commercials that captured the imagination of a nation when private car ownership was starting to become a reality for most citizens.

We love this statement from Mitsuoka (translated from Japanese), which really encapsulates what the Kenmeri represented in post-war Japan:

The M55 Concept targets “people of the same generation” who have lived the same 55 years as Mitsuoka Motors, which was founded in 1968. The model conveys various events we experienced as boys and girls in the spirit of the 1970s. The model gives shape to the memories of people who were full of dreams and hopes at the time, and who ran through the era with a great energy that changed the future.

How great is that!? If that doesn’t make you nostalgic for the Showa Era, you’re dead inside.

“This is the first time we have had the opportunity to directly receive such passionate feedback from so many people, young and old, male and female. As we hear their warm encouragement and their eagerness to see this model made available on the market, we are honestly overjoyed that so many people have such high expectations for our long-standing efforts to ‘create exciting cars,'” Mitsuoka said in a statement.

“This three-month period has made us even more strongly believe that there are still dreams for cars and that we should deliver even more excitement to the world. I would like to thank everyone again for their enthusiastic support during this period and for the many people who visited the special exhibition.”

Mitsuoka hopes to launch the M55 in 2025. English outlets have claimed it’s a Dodge Challenger, but if you missed it the first time here’s a deeper look at how the Kenmeri inspired the M55.

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6 Responses to Mitsuoka announces production of “M55” Honda-based Kenmeri Skyline

  1. Lee L says:

    I have to admit I wasn’t feeling it at first but that rear 3/4 shot changed that. Honestly from that angle it looks kind of ridiculous, but in an awesome way that I can’t put into words.

  2. Franxou says:

    I don’t really like this car, but I think it is super cool and different and I am glad they are putting this into production!
    Honda reliability, super personnalized look, it is so great!

  3. speedie says:

    I thought it looked like a Challenger at first as as well. Both grills originate from the same time period, with the modern Challenger grill being a retro of the original 70s. This is compounded by how high the grill sits on the car giving it a very similar grill to bumper height ratio as the Challenger. Its always hard to put a retro design on a modern shape, but I think they did a decent job with what they had to work with.

  4. CycoPablo says:

    They were heavy-handed at the front — looks too bloated. Conversely, not enough booty.
    The crease ends too early, glasshouse is totally different (massive C pillar not possible) and finally, it’s an homage to a RWD using a FWD platform.

    But the feels? I remember the originals running around. This bloated Civic ain’t cutting it!

  5. Oldscholio says:

    I think it is just another incredible re creation. I would wreck my 401K trying to get the real deal GTR.

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