In late August, the rolling greens of the Quail Lodge and Golf Club on the Monterey Peninsula in California are transformed into a blue ribbon car show for motorsports fans and collectors from around the world. The Quail is the perfect place to reveal a world premiere concept with a difference. That’s exactly what Ken Okuyama has done this year with his stunning Kode57 supercar.
As creative director of famed Italian design house Pininfarina in the early-2000s, Ken Okuyama also oversaw the styling of the Maserati Quattroporte, as well as one-off concept cars including the Ferrari P4/5 and Maserati Birdcage 75th. Today he is the head of his own design company, Ken Okuyama Design, and he pens everyday things like the 300-kph Shinkansen “Bullet” train, bespoke furniture, eyewear, and tractors, as well as his own brand of rare exotic cars, like the Kode57. The model is propelled by one of the world’s most powerful V12 engines and it is able to generate 600hp. Okuyama calls the super coupe a “few-off” – not a one-off – as he expects to hand-build several examples over the next year or so employing state-of-the-art techniques in a very limited edition run. The car's name is related to the year 1957 that is an iconic year in which many legendary cars like the Jaguar XKSS and Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa were born and motor racing gained a strong worldwide following.
To save weight, Okuyama tells us that the Kode57 incorporates an aluminum space frame and carbon fiber body panels. With its low-cut windscreen and long side proportions, the roofless coupe features a driver-oriented cockpit with bespoke individual color themes defining each seat. The supercar's V12 engine and suspension settings can be tuned to suit the owner’s tastes thanks to a collaboration with German specialist Novitec Rosso. This partnership allows the front ride height to be adjusted by up to 45mm using a dedicated switch to assist during parking and other driving situations.
For a coupe of this caliber, you’d expect nothing less than extra grippy Pirelli P-Zero tires all round, and Okuyama has fitted the widest rubber the dimensions would allow. As we understand, you are intrigued by the heavy focus on the car's design and overly brief one-line explanation on what powers this radical machine. However, Okuyama will reveal what’s under that hood when the time is right.