As the current-generation Dodge Challenger prepares to retire, Japanese coachbuilder Mitsuoka has previewed how it could keep the big coupe alive — with a twist. It unveiled a concept called M55 that puts a Challenger-inspired body on the current-generation Honda Civic.

Mitsuoka’s latest creation hardly comes as a surprise. After all, we’re talking about the same folks that turned the Toyota Yaris hatchback into a Jaguar Mark 2 look-alike and gave the Toyota RAV4 a retro-styled design inspired by Chevrolet pickups and SUVs from the 1980s.

Developed to celebrate the brand’s 55th birthday, the M55 features a squared-off, muscle car-like front end with four round headlights, a throwback grille, and a strip of bright trim. Viewed from the side, the M55 is clearly an evolution of the Civic. The front and rear doors, the side window, and the roof line clearly come from the Japanese company’s perennially popular model. Out back, there are louvers on the hatch’s window, a spoiler, and oval headlights surrounded by a black panel. Specific alloy wheels add a finishing touch to the design.

Inside, it’s mostly Civic fare with the exception of a Mitsuoka-branded steering wheel, concept-specific trim on the dashboard, and blue upholstery with a muscle car-like stitching pattern. The switches, the buttons, and the touchscreen come straight from the Honda parts bin.

Power comes from a stock, Civic-sourced 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Turbocharged, it develops 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, and it spins the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. This concept should be more show than go, then. For context, the least powerful variant of the 2023 Challenger packs a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine rated at 303 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque.

Mitsuoka stresses that it built the M55 merely to celebrate its birthday, and it’s not planning on turning the concept into a production model. Even if the company changes its mind, nothing suggests the 1960s-inspired Civic will get clearance to turn a wheel on American pavement.

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