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  k.o 8 Coupe

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Country of origin:Japan
Produced in:2008
Introduced at:2008 Geneva Motor Show
Designed by:Ken Okuyama
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 10, 2008
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Click here to download printer friendly versionJapanese born and trained automobile designer Ken Okuyama started his own business in 2006 after working for several major manufacturers for twenty years. In those years he was involved with developing a variety of cars including the original Honda NSX, the 996 Porsche 911 and the Corvette C5. His last employer was Pininfarina where he supervised the design of the Ferrari Enzo, the Maserati Birdcage 75th and the much acclaimed Ferrari P4/5. With his first products (eyewear, furniture and humanoid robots) Okuyama stayed far away from his former life, but he returned to automobile design in 2008. Under the brand name "k.o" Okuyama launched two sports cars at that year's Geneva Motorshow; the 7 Spider and 8 Coupe.

Even though they look very different, both cars use the same carbon fibre chassis and double wishbone suspension. That is about were the similarities stop as the 7 Spider sports a very minimalistic cycle fender body while the 8 Coupe is fitted with a fully enveloping closed body. The two machines also feature very different mid mounted propulsion units; a 250 bhp four cylinder for the Spider and a lithium ion charged electric motor. At 750 kg, the Spider is a true featherweight. Okuyama's keen eye for design can be seen especially in the many great styling details inside and out. Especially the simple, but very effective and efficient interior stands out.

Both cars are destined to enter production later in 2008. The newly built Ichinoseki, Japan based factory has a production capacity of around 100 cars per year and Okuyama expects the Spider to represent 70% of the production. While at first sight the 7 Spider and 8 Coupe are direct rivals for the likes of the Lotus Elise / Exige and the Ariel Atom, the rumoured price tag of $250,000 puts them in an altogether different class. It will be interesting of the superb design and exclusivity will convince buyers to pick the k.o over its English counterparts.

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  Article Image gallery (7) Specifications