Toyota gets naked with Kikai concept at Tokyo motor show 2015

Published: 14 October 2015

► Kikai concept shocks Tokyo show
► Exposed suspension, window in floor!
► One of three Toyota concepts

Ahh, Tokyo. Land of neon, gadgets and crazy concept cars. Take this Toyota Kikai, for example – which appears to have escaped from the workshop without bothering to pick up any clothes.

What on earth are you on about?

Toyota, it seems, has got a bee in its bonnet (no pun intended) about the beauty of machines. One of its other 2015 Tokyo motor show concepts is a back-to-basics coupe (called the S-FR and just itching to pick a fight with the latest Mazda MX-5), but the Kikai takes that whole concept even further – by exposing as much of its working parts as possible. It's like an exhibitionist automotive streaker...

The rear suspension components are fully exposed, while mounting the front rocker arms so high means you – the occupants – can watch them moving with the road surface, just like you're piloting a Caterham Seven. There’s even a window by the driver’s feet for viewing the tyres and the tarmac. Said pilot is seated in the middle with a passenger on either side, giving the driver ‘a more instinctive sensory connection with the vehicle’. Apparently.

What is the point of the Toyota Kikai concept?

Toyota’s built the concept because it thinks that ‘as the products of human creativity, dedication and knowledge, machines should be objects of admiration.’ By exposing the working parts it’s also supposed to remind us of ‘the appeal of the physical and tactile in a digital age.’ Amen to that. But we can’t quite see this modern Mini Moke making it to production.

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count

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