His love for cars is exceeded only by a love for wristwatches, especially TAG Heuers. Here, however, is a first: a sports car inspired by one of those watches, a Grand Carrera.
The KO7 roadster, which uses a Lotus Elise R platform and powertrain, has two Carrera watches fitted to the dash, while dials, wheels, fuel cap and bodywork (draped in carbonfibre and polished aluminium) all extract design hints from the complex workings of a mechanical chronograph.
The gutsy Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine (there are plans for a Cosworth engine, too) generates 207bhp. With kerb weight down from the Lotus’s 900kg to 790kg, the KO7 clocked a 0-62mph time of 5.0sec (according to the stopwatch on the Grand Carrera), just eclipsing the Elise R’s best time.
Producing beefy torque from as low as 2500rpm, the now-out-of-production powerplant spins all the way to 7500rpm and offers better linkage feel between the gears.
Aided by Japanese engineering firm AIM, which has built engines for Le Mans race cars, Okuyama’s team retuned the handling by revising the dampers, lengthening the arms and modifying the steering column and gear ratio.