Geneva 2008: Japanese ambition, the K07 Spyder

Click above for a gallery of the K.O. 7 and 8.

When we make the trek to Switzerland each year, there always seems to be one particular car that stands out. It's generally something unexpected from an independent automaker far removed from the spotlight. This year, tucked away in a corner cubicle of the Geneva Motor Show's basement, was the K.O. 7 Spider, a concept hailing from Japan that attempts to strike a balance between bespoke supercar and track-day terror.

There were actually two vehicles on display at the Ken Okuyama Design booth: the K.0. 8 coupe, an E.V. that's decidedly less attractive and strictly a design exercise, and the K.O. 7, a production model that will be on sale sometime in 2008.

Hit the jump for all the details.

The K.0. 7 has been bouncing around Mr. Okuyama's (the man that penned the Ferrari Enzo and Maserati Quattroporte at Pininfarina) mind for close to a decade, but once the project was approved, the model you see here was created in just under six months. The body is made of carbon fiber and stamped aluminum, and anything that could remain unpainted was, in an attempt to keep weight down. In production form, the K.O. 7 should tip the scales at around 1,650 pounds (without the optional roof) and a Toyota-sourced motor provides power. While the K.0. spokesperson we talked to remained mum on what particular engine would be fitted to the K.O. 7, the valve cover gave it away as the 2ZZ mill fitted to all manner of Toyotas and the Lotus Elise/Exige. The little upstart is claiming that the 2.0-liter engine is good for around 250 hp, which isn't out of range if they've stroked the 1.8-liter 2ZZ (possibly using a 1ZZ bottom end) and bored it out my 1mm. A V6 is also a possibility.

The K.O. 8 EV model is a bit longer than the 7 (3,710 mm versus 3,580 mm) and is powered by a three-phase electric motor making 100 kW of power. With an 18 Kwh lithium ion battery pack storing power, the coupe has a theoretical range of around 100 miles per charge.

Production of the K.O 7 will supposedly begin later this year, with only 99 examples being available for the princely sum of around $150,000. There are no plans to offer it outside of Japan at this point, but the K.O. people assured us that we'll be seeing more of them in Tokyo this winter and back in Geneva in 2009.

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