Tokyo preview: Toyota KIKAI concept
Toyota will travel to the Tokyo Motor Show to introduce a wild new design study called KIKAI.
The segment-defying concept stands out as one of the most outlandish Toyotas in recent memory. Billed as a way to encourage motorists to embrace the mechanical complexity of a car, it gets a hot rod-like look that puts a big emphasis on displaying the drivetrain components that are hidden from view in a normal road car.
The cabin offers space for three passengers in a triangular configuration that places the driver front and center. In lieu of a full dashboard, the concept features four round gauges that stick out from a curved piece of tubing, a design inspired by the world of motorcycles. The steering is commanded through a three-spoke wheel devoid of any buttons, a testament of the car’s back-to-the-basics aspirations.
Toyota’s sketches hint that the KIKAI is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain built around a four-cylinder engine mounted transversally behind the passenger compartment. An automatic transmission spins the rear wheels, but more specific technical information isn’t available.
Toyota hasn’t revealed what the future has in store for the KIKAI, but we’d be surprised if it makes it past the concept stage. In the Japanese capital, it will share the spotlight with a much more realistic-looking concept dubbed S-FR that might preview a new entry-level sports car for Scion.