Toyota Kikai hot rod concept revealed

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The Toyota Kikai concept car has been revealed ahead of its in-the-flesh debut at the 2015 Tokyo motor show at the end of the month. Hot rods are not what we’ve come to expect from Toyota, but in the form of the Kikai concept, that’s what the company will deliver at its home territory motor show this year. Unlike traditional hot rods, though, the Kikai is tiny, measuring just 3.4 metres long and sitting on a 2.45m wheelbase. The concept stands 1.55m tall and is 1.8m wide. According to Toyota, the Kikai “encourages us to appreciate the complex beauty of the mechanical aspects of cars”, as well as reminding us of the “appeal of the physical and tactile in a digital age”. The stripped back concept features a minimal amount of body work, exposing the car’s suspension, bumpers, engine, transmission, exhaust, petrol tank, and other ancillaries. Entry to the Kikai’s cabin is granted by sliding people mover-style doors on both sides. In keeping with the paired back, old school feel of the concept, the Kikai features a plethora of analogue gauges and switches. The Kikai seats three in a layout the recalls the classic McLaren F1 supercar, with the driver seated up front and in the centre. The Kikai’s two passenger seats are offset to the side and behind the driver. There’s also a small window near the driver’s feet so passengers can watch the tyres and suspension at work. It’s said that through the windscreen, the driver can see the movement of the front suspension’s upper control arm. The company has yet to provide official details about the car’s drivetrain. A closer inspection of the supplied photos, though, indicates that the Kikai has a petrol-electric hybrid, mounted behind the passenger cell, driving the rear wheels.