This is the first Japanese coachbuilder to be nominated for the concept car category at the event.
This past weekend's festivities at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Lake Como had much to celebrate, including the reveal of Ken Okuyama Design's Kode61 Birdcage.
UPDATE - 5/24: Ken Okuyama Design has revealed more information and released more images of the vehicle since this article was originally posted.
If that name rings a bell, you probably recall Ken Okuyama as the design boss of Pininfarina when the Ferrari Enzo was penned, and he's sketched several one-off supercars of his own since then, like the Kode57 and Kode0.
His latest creation clearly draws inspiration in name and styling from the Maserati Tipo 61 racecar, produced from 1959-1961, and 2005's Maserati Birdcage 75th Concept, one of the finest concepts from the automaker.
Thankfully, as wild as this looks, it will be going into production, albeit with highly limited numbers.
Like the McLaren Elva and the one- and two-seater Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2, the Kode61 Birdcage does not feature a traditional windscreen and is devoid of overhead protection from the elements. As impractical as that may be, it looks spectacular and means that this vehicle does not need large doors. Inside, carbon fiber, quilted leather, analog gauges, and loads of brightwork make for an attention-grabbing cabin, which is separated in the center by a divider that runs the length of the car. Other highlights include wheels that seem to have been fashioned after those on the Maserati MC20 supercar and a high-mounted dual-exit exhaust.
The chassis is a network of some 200 thing chromoly steel tubes, saving weight and enhancing rigidity.
Those exhaust tips confirm the existence of an internal combustion engine, which is a 4.2-liter V8, likely sourced from Maserati, or perhaps even Audi. Here, it produces 396 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and a maximum of 326 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed gated manual with a semi-exposed linkage facilitates gear changes, and the suspension features independent, unequal-length wishbones.
As we touched on above, the vehicles will be going into production in "limited numbers," but pricing and other details are yet to be revealed. Regardless, as the first Japanese carrozzeria to be nominated in the concept car category at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, we're sure the outfit will have several orders waiting.
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