Overfender Everything: The Liberty Walk Orochi

Japanese new car modifier Mitsuoka have long been known for their bizarre creations based on run-of-the-mill JDM models.

I’m not sure if categorizing them as a ‘coachbuilder’ would be correct, but they are probably what the watered-down equivalent would be in 2022. They are well known for taking cars like the Nissan March/Micra or Teana, and grafting on massive metal grills and round headlights to give them a ’60s British vibe, often reminding people of MkII Jaguars. While these type of cars are still offered in the lineup, Mitsuoka have recently branched out into more visually-pleasing models. They’ve injected Corvette Stingray DNA into the Mazda MX-5 with the aptly named Rock Star, and applied a Chevy Blazer grille to the new-gen Toyota RAV4, calling it the Buddy.

Of all the models that Mitsuoka have created though, perhaps none have garnered more international attention than the Orochi.


Mitsuoka debuted the Orochi concept – a Honda NSX converted to the point that it was barely recognisable – at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show. In their press release, Mitsuoka said the model was inspired by Yamata no Orochi, the famed eight-headed and tailed Japanese dragon. You can sort of see it in the snake-like headlights.


I remember thinking at the time, ‘Oh no, why did you have to do this to an NSX!?’ Thankfully though, by the time the Orochi was launched as an actual production car in 2006, it was built on bespoke underpinnings, put together with a variety of Honda and Toyota parts.


Fast-forward another decade and a half and you’re looking at possibly the strangest ‘sports car’ to have ever come out of Japan taken one step further with the Liberty Walk treatment. I say ‘sports car’ because, frankly, the Orochi was never a sports car, but rather a design-driven exercise – like all of Mitsuoka’s products.

If you need proof, just look in the engine bay. Power comes from a mid-mounted and transversely-oriented Toyota/Lexus 3MZ-FE 3.3L V6 mated to an automatic transmission.


So we’re definitely not looking at this car from a performance standpoint, rather the visual impact that Kato-san at Liberty Walk has given it.


The project was actually brought to LBW by the guys at Sphere Light, a Japanese automotive accessory company that specializes in HID and LED lighting.


I remember seeing the car at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon but, like most people, didn’t take too much notice as it was finished in black and became somewhat lost amongst all the other Liberty Walk cars.


Fast forward a couple of years and a fresh white respray later, and boy is it looking different.


Having the Orochi finished in the same race livery as Liberty Walk’s Formula D Japan S15 4-rotor Silvia has given it real presence.


As it sat aired-out over its 20×9.5-inch front and 20×11.5-inch rear LBW wheels on the quiet streets of Makuhari New Town barely hours after the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon had wrapped up, the car looked purposeful and aggressive, to the point that for the first time in 21 years, I actually thought the Orochi didn’t look too bad. It really is amazing what these overfender conversions can achieve.


Having been co-built by a company that specializes in lighting, there is, unsurprisingly, ample illumination. It was actually impressive how bright the LED headlight bulbs were even on their regular low-beam settings, but a first for me was seeing illumination within the dashboard and seats. This full-custom two-tone interior was pieced together by Newing.


The main takeaway for me here though, is just how popular overfenders continue to be. Even away from a company demo car like this one, wide body kit makers like Liberty Walk, RWB and Rocket Bunny – to name the top three – have shown that overfenders aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.


This modern interpretation of the ‘works’ race look, once the simple way to prep a car for motor racing, is here to stay. In fact, it’s probably growing, as LBW showed us at TAS with even more examples of their integrated wide-body conversions.


It simply comes down to human nature. Some of us want to stand out, be different and disrupt, and people like Kato-san are here to show the way, no matter how extreme or what the base car is. Looking at the Liberty Walk website now, they are catering to a total of 21 car brands, with various models and interpretations to choose from.

The question then is not when this modification style will end, but more like where will it go and how will it evolve. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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So cool! Thanks Dino!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Pleasure as always!


Insane car... if only it had an engine to back up those looks!
Dino, whatever happened to the Garage House series? I for one enjoyed them :)

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'm waiting on 2-3 of them at the moment. Not everyone is too keen to show off their hidden treasures. JDM IRS might come for a wonder lol


Seeing the MiniGT logo on the front makes me think we'll see a diecast toy of this sooner or later. I know I'd buy one.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's Liberty Walk I'd say there's a 100% chance of that happening. Big marketing machine!

Justin Narayan @ drive.com.au

Someone buy my GRMN iQ

Dino Dalle Carbonare

The one with the bike engine? lol


Wow, awesome pics! You know, overfenders give presence, and sometimes I'm just glad for the way they've brought a few models back from obscurity, into the limelight. I respect Kato-san's out-of-the-box thinking with respect to keeping it thoughtful.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Hey I'm all for it too. They do great things for the scene. Their style and approach might not work for all out there, but at least they are doing something


Never heard of this car before and seeing the stock pictures in the link just screams ugly but somehow liberty walk makes this car look awesome. The interior lighting not my taste but the outside looks fantastic.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I actually did a story on AutoWeek when it came out in 2007. Pretty uninspiring to drive:



Overfender/widefender, wide fat rims and tyres go hand in hand.
I suspect all the above items will grow even wider in the future.

The question is, how wide should they go, before we finally say "enough"?


Enough...probably when the car is wider than it is long.

Suspect there should be a narrow body renaissance coming in the not too distant future


Probably when we see an RWB dually hahahaha
That would be enough for me :)

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I don't think it's a question of how wide, but more like on what car will they do it next!


Bloody hell, the illuminated seats actually takes the cake for me!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I could say a few dirty things about possible uses for them...but I better not. I'm sure I'm no the only one with a filthy mind lol


I really like it! Brilliant work. Actually thought it was a low volume supercar. Great to see something different to this level of quality and it it continuing to evolve so dramatically over all these years.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Definitely low volume. Definitely not a supercar!


Looks like a rural mud fish with a learning disability.

Dino Dalle Carbonare



Opel calibra dtm paintjob, cool seats! Mitsuoka definitely!!


Smiled the whole way through your article, as it's painful to "hear" you dance around the fact the car is among the ugliest ever made, an automatic wheezer, and pretty much a waste of time/money/everything given what LWB has done before.

My only takeaway was a shudder, a reminder of what I had eaten earlier, and how cool the concept of in-seating EL tape or whatever genius it is... If it wears well that is. Maybe seat heaters/coolers can give some theatre and "infotainment" in the new Racing NuR-Record SUV-cross-exotic 9000 that will cost as much as a house to prove even further how small people can be, how fast idiot demand can ruin what used to be "sports cars". Google it... They really did used to exist!!! I swear!!!

Dino Dalle Carbonare



[...] never a sportscar[...]. If you need proof, just look in the engine bay.

Well, whats a sportscar really? This one looking like one and having a 3.3L V6 in it may sound humble but on the other hand, what do you call a Jaguar XJ220 ?


also, the 3MZ-FE can take a lot of boost.. there's a few with four digit power levels on the internet