Currently reading: Japan’s Lotus Elise
Japanese designer Ken Okuyama has created a two-seater sportscar to rival the Elise
1 min read
16 September 2008

Meet the K.07, a spartan, two-seater sportscar created by Japanese design legend Ken Okuyama.

The former Pininfarina designer, who lists the Maserati Quattroporte and Ferrari Enzo among his design credits, is putting the tiny, lightweight carbon-fibre and aluminium bodied sportster on sale for a cool ¥19.5 million – about £102,000 at current exchange rates.

Previewed at the Geneva Show this year, the K.07 is essentially a rebodied and redesigned Lotus Elise. Lotus supplies the base car to Ken Okuyama Design in northern Japan, which then creates this unique chisel-nosed body and spec.

Power comes from a mid-mounted Toyota motor, essentially the same engine as used in the Elise, but with capacity increased to 2.0-litres. Power will be between 198bhp and 239bhp, which should give the 750kg car serious performance.

A source reveals that Lotus originally suggested the car be built in the UK, then shipped to Japan so as to get around Japan’s punitive Type Approval rules, but Ken Okuyama appears to have vetoed that, at least for the time being.

Exactly how the K.07 can be registered for the road in Japan without mandatory crash testing remains to be seen. Lotus and Pininfarina previously collaborated on the Enjoy project in 2003 – another Elise-based bespoke sportscar, although one that never found a backer.

Ken Okuyama has also penned the K.08, an electric, closed roof spin-off of the K.07 which is still at the prototype stage. He has also confirmed that an as-yet unspecified K.09 will debut at next year’s Geneva show.

Peter Nunn

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