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A Detailed Look At The Mitsuoka Orochi, One Of The Ugliest Cars Ever Made – HotCars

by Nov 2, 2022Blog0 comments

The Mitsuoka Orochi is a Japanese sports car that gets its creative influence from a mythical eight-headed, eight-tailed Japanese dragon.
Magazines for car enthusiasts like to create articles with the best and most beautiful cars, but few talk about the really unattractive vehicles. That’s mostly because this is such a polarizing issue. Beauty, attractiveness, and ugliness are subjective, so a vehicle that is beautiful or bold to a consumer might be ugly or dull to another one. For instance, Jalopnik branded the Mitsuoka Orochi, a Japanese automobile created by Mitsuoka Motors, as the "World's Ugliest Car," but this claim is debatable. If it were that bad, would anime artists transform it even into an anime?
To be fair, for some Mitsuoka Orochi fans, the vehicle was daring. For example, HotCars contributor Luke Zietsman called the Mitsuoka Orochi “breathtakingly gorgeous.” And Top Speed said, “the mid-engine Orochi is definitely a bold and original styling statement.” Whatever you might think of the design of the vehicle, you have to agree that the sports car has some standout features, like the powerful engine that generated 470 horsepower and the elegant interior cabin fully trimmed with leather. Other than that, the name is pretty cool since it comes from Yamata no Orochi, a mythical eight-headed, eight-tailed Japanese dragon/serpent. For all the anime fans and car enthusiasts, here is everything you need to know about the Mitsuoka Orochi.
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Dragons appear to be on trend right now. It started with Chinese fashion designer, Guo Pei in 2012 and her couture collection, The Legend of the Dragon. Later, in 2018, Gucci sent models on the catwalk carrying dragons. And now, the hit drama series, The House of the Dragon, dominates TV ratings. It’s not unexpected that Mitsuoka Motors drew inspiration from this fabled creature, since the creative sector frequently alludes to such magical and potent beings. But it’s not just the name that alludes to dragons and serpents. In fact, it’s more than that, and the automaker didn’t stop here when it comes to finding inspiration in dragons. As the famous Yamata no Orochi was an eight-headed and eight-tailed mythical creature, the automaker played with the number eight with his car. The Mitsuoka Orochi has eight headlights and taillights (four in the front and four on the rear side). Furthermore, the eight openings in the front hood have an uncanny resemblance to nostrils.
“The Japanese managed to incorporate the facial features of a dragon into the design,” says Secret Classics.
The Orochi was first introduced to the public at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show. But four years later, at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsuoka revealed a brand-new convertible model under the name Orochi Nude Top. One year later, the automaker kick-started production of the Orochi. Unfortunately, the Japanese car manufacturer built only 400 units over four years.
Fast-forward to 2007, and Mitsuoka presented a new concept car, the Orochi Kabuto, which came with carbon fiber panels, a body kit, and a rear spoiler. In 2009, the Japanese automaker released the Kabuto as a production car, but only built five units from the vehicle. This was a very upscale model that stood out on the market thanks to its exquisite interior and tuned engine. However, in 2008, Mitsuoka debuted the Orochi Zero, which looked and felt cheaper than the Kabuto. Even this time, the automaker capped production at a few units – just 20. Meanwhile, in 2010, the automaker introduced the Orochi Gold Premium, which had a more exquisite interior with Alcantara on the seats. Furthermore, this model came equipped with a new exhaust system and spoilers.
The final model was eventually launched in 2014, and the automaker built only five units from this car. Mitsuoka Motors painted three units in a shade of Gold Pearl and two vehicles in a color dubbed “Fuyoru.” Mitsuoka fans had to pay roughly $125,000 for this vehicle. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the end of this fancy dragon-inspired vehicle and in 2014, convenience store 7-Eleven surprised everyone when it announced it would sell an “Evangelion Limited Edition” vehicle based on the Orochi. The price of this super vehicle? Nothing less than 16 million yen (today, this would be roughly $108,115). Finally, in 2018, the Orochi was again resuscitated just like Frankenstein's monster when Mitsuoka collaborated with Go Nagai to design the Orochi Devilman.
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Expect these vehicles to be difficult to source in the United States, but if you're determined to get it right, think about purchasing it from a vendor in Japan. Currently, the website, Car from Japan has a 2009 Mitsuoka Orochi for sale at $66,369 with 34,797 miles on the odometer. Meanwhile, Japan Partner listed a 2013 Mitsuoka Orochi 3.3 for $118,188. On Goo Net Exchange, users can find five Mitsuoka Orochi vehicles with prices ranging from $59,748 all the way to $84,358 (at the exchange rate from October 31, 2022).
Before committing to a purchase, prospective buyers should check if the car meets U.S. standards. This means verifying if the vehicle conforms to DOT and EPA standards. Furthermore, the buyer needs to calculate import and shipping duties and make sure he finds a reliable shipping company. Before deciding to import an automobile from abroad, it may be preferable to stick to the inventory already on hand in the United States because buying cars from overseas is typically a time-consuming and expensive endeavor.
Adina Achim is a journalist with vast knowledge and experience in the luxury industry. She is passionate about luxury car brands, technological trends in the automotive industry, and exotic cars.