Toyota believes that, as the products of human creativity, dedication and knowledge, machines should be objects of admiration. The Kikai concept was therefore designed to explore and emphasize the fundamental appeal of machines: their craftsmanship, their beauty, simplicity and their fascinating motion. As a true concept car, the Toyota Kikai’s appeal is simultaneously free from and reliant on the core concepts of automobiles.
Measuring in at 3400mm long, 1800mm wide and 1550mm tall, the Kikai concept takes the machinery normally hidden beneath the vehicle body and displays it openly. Directly expressed in this way, the vehicle’s inner workings become part of the exterior design and continue through to details including the fuel tank, reserve tank and exhaust pipes. The analog-style meters and switches also offer an engaging dialog with the machinery.
At One With Machine
The small window at the driver’s feet is another distinctive aspect of this car’s structure, communicating the movements of the tires and suspension and the rush of speed along the road surface. Through the windshield, the movements of the upper control arm are also visible. This, Toyota says, provides a novel driving sensation in which the machinery that supports the operations of cruising, turning and stopping in ordinary everyday driving offers a more sensory experience.
The Kikai concept rides on a 2450mm long wheelbase and provides seating for three occupants. The adoption of a central driver seat, which places the driver at the heart of the car, gives a more instinctive sensory connection with the vehicle. The triangular layout of the three passenger seats creates a congenial in-cabin communication space, while the expansive side window that reaches up to the roof further enables occupants to enjoy the scenery in urban and natural landscapes alike.
While most vehicles conceal their inner workings beneath smooth sheet metal, the Toyota Kikai concept encourages us to appreciate the complex beauty of the mechanical aspects of cars. More broadly, it reminds us of the appeal of the physical and tactile in a digital age.