On October 7, Mitsuoka Motor released a partially improved SUV "Buddy".
The 1st generation Buddy was released in June 2021, but it quickly became a popular SUV, with orders far exceeding the originally planned production volume.
Mitsuoka Motors is Japan's smallest automobile manufacturer that mainly modifies the exterior of existing mass-produced vehicles. The Buddy is Mitsuoka Motors first SUV, built using the same method as the current vehicles such as the "Himiko", "Bute" and "Galyu".
The concept of Buddy in the UV market is “a partner who can ride naturally and smoothly”. The base vehicle of Buddy is "Toyota RAV4", which has been redesigned around the front and rear ends. The design motif of Chevrolet Blazer, an American SUV in the 1970s and 1980s, is hand-made for the nose part including the front bumper and the rear bumper cowl part.
After the 5th generation RAV4 is transported from the Takaoka Plant of Toyota Motor Corporation, the interior and exterior of the body are disassembled and customized by craftsmen one by one. The buddies are available in five grades, the gasoline models “20ST”', “20DX”' and “20LX”', and the hybrid models “HYBRID ST” and “HYBRID DX”, according to the grades of the base vehicle RAV4. In addition, 2WD and 4WD can be selected.
RAV4 which is the base vehicle. In this improvement, the function of the forward safety device has been expanded, and a grade with a recording function added to the digital inner mirror has been set.
In addition, a grade with enlarged "display audio" and "multi-information display" was set. The display audio will be compatible with connected navigation and will be a 10.5-inch large screen display. Improvements such as "ETC2.0", "TV (compatible with full seg)", "communication type navigation", and "Nanoe X" as standard equipment have been implemented.
There are no changes to the exterior or interior in this upgrade. In Buddy's powertrain, the gasoline car was equipped with a 2.0L in-line 4-cylinder. The hybrid car is equipped with a 2.5L in-line 4-cylinder, and the gasoline car has a Direct Shift-CVT transmission. There is no change in the conventional electric continuously variable transmission for hybrid vehicles.
The current delivery time for the popular Buddy is about one and a half to two years, and Mitsuoka Motors will continue to improve its production system.
Buddy is not available right now, but I would like to taste an American SUV.