Ken Okuyama Design Rocks Kode9, Racecars and a Tractor in Tokyo
26 November 2013 - Autoblog
As promised, designer and boutique sports car builder Ken Okuyama has arrived at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, bringing a selection of really amazing vehicles along with him.
The star of the show is the Kode9 sports car, which really does highlight Okuyama's idiosyncratic way of looking at design. The coupe could easily pass for a top-effort from an Italian design house (not surprising, as Okuyama boasts a stint as director of design for Pininfarina on his resume), but the characterful face and central tailfin feel very Japanese, if not a bit Speed Racer.
Functionally, the Kode9 seems more than able to back up its wild good looks. The chassis has a central section constructed of aluminum, with carbon-fiber construction at the front and rear. Powering the vehicle is a 370-horsepower, HKS-supercharged 2.0-liter engine that looks to be of Honda extraction. The total weight of the car is just 1,962 pounds, so we'd expect that forced-induction four-cylinder to really make the car scoot.
Okuyama has also produced a lighter, racy version of his K0.7 minimalist racer, called the Kode7 Clubman. The two-seat racer has a 1.6-liter, 250-horsepower engine under its hood, and looks custom made to terrorize club racetracks in Japan.
Finally, and most winsome of all, is the high-concept tractor that the designer has created with Yanmar running gear. The Yanmar Y Concept is an attempt at optimizing visibility and sturdy construction for the working man, while also incorporating features like a GPS system.