Toyota has unveiled the Toyota Kikai concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The concept is a brazen display of the inner workings of a car and tries to attune the driver with the core concept of automobiles.
The exterior of the Toyota Kikai concept is what you will normally find behind the sheet metal of everyday cars. There is no part which is hidden from view; everything from the suspension and engine to the steering, tyres and exhaust is visible. The Kikai concept is 3,400 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,550 mm tall, and a wheelbase of 2450 mm.
The open theme continues inside the cabin too, which has a unique three-seat layout with the driver seat centrally placed and the two passenger seats positioned behind it. In addition to the conventional windshield, door windows and backglass, there is also a window in the front near the floor. Through this window, the driver can see how the suspension, steering and tyres do their duty while witnessing the tarmac shifting beneath him. Toyota says that this view in conjunction with the exposed machinery gives rise to a novel driving sensation. The cabin itself is devoid of any digital displays and all the functions present have to be controlled manually by flicking switches or moving buttons.
The Toyota Kikai is purely a concept, but in this digital age and the imminent advent of autonomous technologies it is a refreshing reminder of the origins of the humble and ubiquitous automobile.