Meet the Toyota KIKAI – the Japanese carmaker’s own rendition of a true concept. If people see one, they would immediately recognize that it is not a typical car ready to bust the market. They would also realize that while it is not as flashy as concept cars have been, it delivers a message of loving the basics of what really makes a car.
While the Toyota KIKAI deviates from the typical perception of concept vehicles, it succeeds in conveying a certain message that concepts usually carry – “explore us more.” So what’s with the Toyota KIKAI?
The concept basically takes the machinery out from where they are usually are, and displays them for anyone to see. Yes, the inner elements of the vehicle have become a seamless part of the exterior while its protruding features -- like fuel tank, reserve tank and exhaust pipes as well as the analog-style meters and switches -- all contribute to the true meaning of the concept.
By doing such, designers of the Toyota KIKAI – which means “machine” in Japanese – were able to show what it really means to drive. They also urge everyone to appreciate not just the elegant exterior, the comfortable interior, the infotainment systems or the driver assistance systems, but also the machines inside the vehicle.
Mechanical as they maybe, these elements are truly amazing if only a vehicle’s occupants can see how they work.
Thus, to show the driver what it means to drive, Toyota installed small window at the driver's feet, revealing to the pilot the movements of the tires and suspension as well as how fast the vehicle is running along the road surface.
On the other hand, the driver could see the movements of the upper control arm through the windshield, showing the pilot how the vehicle goes, turns and stops. Interestingly, the driver is seated on the very heart of the Toyota KIKAI, thanks to a central driver seat.
Since the KIKAI features an optimal triangular seating layout for its three occupants, paving way for a more congenial in-cabin communication space. On the other hand, the side windows of the vehicle expand to the roof, allowing passengers to enjoy their surroundings while on the cruise.