Mitsuoka Motors announced that it has added a 5-door hatchback model to its flagship Butte and that the new model, called the Butte Nadeshiko, went on sale July 18.
The Butte is based on the Nissan March compact and is styled as a sedan with a classic car motif, but the Butte Nadeshiko features some special changes. Along with taking its hatchback door directly from the March, another change is that the front bumper is smaller and rounded.
Mitsuoka developer Takanori Aoki explains, “The Butte is only about 4.5 meters long, which our female customers say is big enough. But the front bumper is a bit rugged and extends, and we’ve gotten feedback that this makes it hard to park in garages and things like that.”
Furthermore, he says, “Originally, the ratio of female to male Butte buyers was 6 to 4 and, although the Butte sold well, due to its size and rough image, there were some customers who chose other compact cars like Volkswagen or Fiat.”
“When you say ‘classic car,’ a boxy image comes to mind,” he explains. “As a designer, I was reluctant to use the hatchback style, but it turns out that this is what our drivers wanted according to feedback we received, so we tried it.”
Due to the hatchback styling and front bumper, the Butte Nadeshiko is 3980mm long, 1665mm wide, making it 535mm less wide and 15mm shorter than the sedan-style Butte. Using the rear hatchback and taillights of the March also brings the cost down to 1,674,000 yen, which is 600,000 yen less than a sedan of the same grade.
(Translated by Greg Scott)