The Ferrari Enzo’s designer isn’t worried about the future of supercars

The Ferrari Enzo’s designer isn’t worried about the future of supercars

The Ferrari Enzo’s designer isn’t worried about the future of supercars

0 comments 📅04 November 2016, 21:20

Ken Okuyama is a top-drawer designer with a prestigious portfolio. He tired 12 years at the famed Italian contemplate house Pininfarina after a stint with GM’s Advanced Work Studio, where he worked on the C5 Corvette. He also styled the Boxster and 996-origination 911 at Porsche. His first Ferrari set up was the Rossa concept car, though his most honoured creation is the Enzo.

Now Okuyama runs a plan studio that not only is responsible for the new Kode57 supercar that debuted in Monterey this background weekend, but also eye glasses, civic planning, and measured Japanese bullet trains. We caught up with Okuyama at the Concorso Italiano car guide, plopped down on a couple of plush leather chairs above-board in front of his brand new Kode57, and chatted take what the future holds for car design.

Alex Kierstein: Lately there’s been a lot of talk to autonomy and future mobility. What ilk of challenges and opportunities do you think this autonomous tomorrow’s is going to provide for you as a car designer?

Ken Okuyama: It is a actually fantastic time for designers because of two reasons. One is that the obvio and private transport have been two break off, completely different industries up until now. Now, when you muse on about the future of autonomy, that genuinely brings the automobiles into something more of a exposed transportation. You really have to think back the total experience of the customers from buying the ticket to the paying instrument. That’s just hardware, actually. It is a mountainous challenge for engineers and designers, and I really liking that. That’s one reason.

Another senses is that just like horses were a means of banish 100 or so years ago, up until Henry Ford assortment-produced the Model T. Now, maybe sports cars are suitable like horses. Now, horses are a great goal for hobby, sports, and part of the Olympics and the whole. Cars are going to be like that also. Dr. Porsche [was asked what kind of] automobile is going to last for the longest moment. He said, “the sports car.” I really believe in that, because with sports cars, you not ever lose a sense of ownership.

Autonomous vehicles are things you don’t entertain to own. You have to design a total experience and the unscathed operation. A car, you want to own it. It’s part of you. Your machine-driven watches, do you borrow them from big White Chief? You want to own it. Your suits, your favorite shirts, you require to borrow them from somebody for your occurrence? No, you want to own it. Ownership is a core part of kindly beings. I’m really excited.

AK: I feel like cars are now designed to supplicate to someone that only wants to own them for three years, on some prone. Do you think the rise of the lease is influencing how they’re designed and built?

KO: In fact no. I lease my Maserati Quattroporte in Tokyo. I be subjected to two of them. The reason is because I run the company and the solely expense I can actually write off is a lease. After five years I can buy that from my throng. That’s what actually a lot of people do to own something that they truly love, cherish. Maserati Quattroporte, as you remember, I designed that thing. I always wanted to buy that. At the unchanging time, I never wanted to own it, because in days gone by you own something you designed in the past you hang onto it.

Our job, the schemer’s job, is to always create newness. Newness, you from to destroy something old, something you’ve done in the over. For that reason, for the longest time, I on no account owned something I designed in the past. Now, I’m not justified the designer. I run the company. I produce these products. I demand to know about the product better than my customers. I’m growing into the next configuration in my career that I don’t mind owning something. For the avid reasons, but at the same time I need to recognize the car better to actually do better than the car.

AK: I’d regard it if you could tell me a little bit about your T. I think some of our readers are familiar with your cars, like the Quattroporte you mentioned but also the Ferrari Enzo, but I’d attachment you to give me a quick overview of your own circle, what you’ve done, and where it’s going.

KO: I was with Pininfarina for 12 years. I soundless have a house in Turin, actually. I go subsidize once in awhile, just for the fun of it. Then nearly 10 years ago I started my company in Tokyo. We do a lot of consulting of trains, airplanes …

AK: You designed some bullets trains, repair?

KO: We do. We have designed, actually, three bullet trains in the gone five years, which is actually fully amazing. They normally don’t give one job to the yet designer, but we have done that. We sketch out motorcycles and do some architecture. We do master plans for town planning. That’s very stable and a correct business for us. At the same time, I say to myself, “If I die in a horizontal crash tomorrow, my company’s going to go out of task. I’d like to establish my own brand, Okuyama sort.”

About five years ago we started working on a pyramid of products, starting from the tushy to the top. The eyewear that I’m wearing, they’re Ken Okuyama EYES type. We have three stores in Japan now, Okuyama stores, and take 50 stores total thanks to franchising. To assemble that Okuyama brand, to be more like Porsche Organiz, I needed something to be on the top of this pyramid. I said, “It’s gotta be automobiles.” It’s my passion. The anyway customers actually go to eyewear to automobiles.

I started establishing our own in-abode shop. I have about 50 people edifice these cars now. The car we’re presenting today at the Concorso Italiano [The Kode57 Enji. – Ed.] is something sinker built, engineered, designed in-house. We’re prospering to build only five of these. That’s it. I’m not prevalent to mention the price of it. The one that we’re looking at principled now is already owned by a Japanese owner. The younger and third, we already have a discussion with those people. These are affluent to be the flagship of the pyramid of Ken Okuyama brand.

We well-founde started building this brand based on the opinion that I like to produce something that is both, because it’s not needed, because it’s wanted. Something based on your hanker after. It’s basically a lot to do with ownership. You’re asking the correct questions.

AK: Someone told me recently, as they were describing Lexus’ new quite wild design language, that with the gridlock in Japan you strength only be able to catch a little slice of the car in between other cars. The troop wanted you to be able to know what it was you were looking at. I don’t be aware if that was a philosophy that guided you, but I’m looking at this car and every bend and shape looks totally unique to me.

KO: Commendable design always has a very simple printing. I call this the first reading. The oldest reading of a design has to be strong and elegant. It has to be deeply simple. Then, as you start looking into the details, you encounter a lot of interesting secondary readings. Good paintings, A-OK architecture, any aesthetically good objects forever have that. You don’t mix details with the unconditional theme. The total theme of the Kode57 came from the 1957 Testa Rossa. If you recognize that, that car has a pontoon fender score coming from the front fender that runs to the arse that eventually disappears.

This one blends into the derived mass of this rear fender. This is a piece that actually I developed when I was at Pininfarina as a component of a show car called Rossa in 2000. I designed that and I introduced that. I at rest like it. At the same time, I wasn’t fully satisfied. I wanted to carry on with working with the theme. That car was also based on the 1957 Testa Rossa text. That’s why this car’s called Kode57 and the diminutive is Enji. Enji means Bordeaux, ill-lighted red in Japanese.

Without the carbon-fiber technology, this car couldn’t be done. When you look at the fa fender, and those fins, there’s in point of fact one piece of carbon fiber that’s ravenous inside. You couldn’t do this with aluminum. The headlights and allotment of the taillights were done with a 3D printer. That’s why we’re masterly to not invest in too much for the tooling and still do this minimal production of five cars, that’s all, and produce it profitable.

AK: I think that’s amazing. Current construction techniques that allow you to …

KO: To do something you couldn’t do ahead.

AK: … and realize a dream. Is it hard to put down the pen? You’ve done all the concept drawings, is it stiff to stop refining the drawing and turn it into something diplomate? What’s that part of the process like?

KO: That’s a prodigious question. All painters, actually the hardest proposition beyond the shadow of a doubt to himself or herself is when to put down the pen or the broom. I have the same problem. You have to elect at one point. You’re never satisfied with when to put down the pen. You finished something, and the day after the squeeze conference you said, “Oh darn. I have to dispatch them. I have to change that, because that guy said this feature, and I have to change without my permission.” You’re not in a million years 100-percent satisfied with your origin.

At the same time, maybe it’s in production, perhaps you have a great Italian dinner, and after a drinking-glass of wine you step out of the restaurant and a car passes by in face you. It’s like, “Wow. That’s something. Did I do that?” You’re 100-percent satisfied. The next morning, again, you’re teetotal and you go into your garage and see your car. “No, I should contain done that. I should have done this.” Again, that guy comes up. It is like that, the undamaged life cycle. You just go through that whole fetish. That’s the nature of human beings.

AK: I assume it’s part of the creative struggle, right? You’re under no circumstances satisfied with something you’ve created.

KO: A ticket, or any article that you write, it’s the same element. It’s not just a painting, or it’s not just a car, or design. It’s something that hominid beings create. You go through the same round.

AK: Is the low-production-volume model your way bold?

KO: Actually our plan, and we’re already doing, is to arrive back every year pretty much to this Concorso Italiano, The Quail, or here in Monterrey with a new car. We already comprise a new project started with a new client who has paid. We are working on that conjure up. We’ll hopefully finish before next year, this consequence, and bring it over here. That’s the sketch.

AK: That must be very exciting that you get to do something new at that accent, as opposed to having to wait years between one concoct and the next.

KO: The Italian carrozzerias used to do that every year. Pininfarina acclimatized to introduce a new concept car. Concept cars, in the 1960s, were contest cars and they would sell them to customers. We’re doing the nonetheless thing with the new technology. Every year [we can do a] new upshot, because of the digital technology and a lot of things we accomplished from my experience in Italy, we’re able to do that. The sketch is we work together with the client to enter a occur to this achievement with this Kode57 Enji, but the next one is already on the way. I look bold to it.

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