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This is the Mitsuoka Roadster, and it will be making its European debut as it goes on sale in the UK this month. We first saw the retro-styled roadster as the Mitsuoka Himiko back in 2010.

Billed as a true modern day classic sports car, the Roadster features a British sporting design of elegant flowing lines, combining timeless styling with advanced levels of modern technology, safety and comfort, Mitsuoka claims.

The Roadster is powered by a Mazda-sourced 2.0 litre MZR engine with 160 PS and 188 Nm. The proven four-pot unit can be paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with steering shift paddles. The manual gets Bilstein dampers. Power goes to the rear wheels, just like the previous-gen Mazda MX-5 that donated its underpinnings.

Yes, the Mitsuoka Roadster has been seriously stretched; its 4,575 mm length is more than half a metre longer than the third-gen MX-5 NC.

The last-gen Mazda MX-5-based Roadster last appeared as the Himiko in 2010, a 20-unit special

The Roadster features what Mitsuoka says is the world’s fastest power-retractable hard top, which opens and closes in 12 seconds with just the flick of a switch. Heated leather seats, auto air con, ABS with EBD, DSC and four airbags are standard.

The Mitsuoka Roadster is priced at £53,800 (RM302,972) OTR, with metallic or pearlescent paint available for £620 extra. What can you buy for that money? A Porsche Cayman S starts from £48,783 in the UK – more accomplished, yes, but also a lot more common.

“We share in the philosophy and passion of Susumu Mitsuoka and genuinely believe that the Mitsuoka Roadster can make a real impression on those that want exclusive luxury – albeit at a very competitive price,” said Jen White of UK/Ireland exclusive distributor T W White & Sons.

Founded in 1968 by Susumu Mitsuoka, Mitsuoka Motor Company hand builds small volumes of cars in Toyama City, Japan. Their cars are typically based on mass market Japanese hatchbacks and saloons (or in this case a sports car), but wear curvy retro sheet metal inspired by the good old days. Mitsuoka is also known for a monster called the Orochi, which is as scary as it sounds.