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Toyota Reveals KIKAI Concept, a Steampunk Buggy for Tokyo

The Toyota KIKAI concept is the oddest thing we've seen coming out of the Japanese manufacturer's workshop, which is not to say that we don't love it. The model takes plenty of styling cues from American car culture and will present itself at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.
Toyota KIKAI Concept 14 photos
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The first thing we noticed about it is that the engine at the back has been treated to some Beetle Buggy accessories. People who wanted fun beach cars in the 70s converted VWs in this manner, stripping the rear panels and installing shiny new components.

The engine of the KIKAI seems to be held in place by a polished steel frame and boasts a shiny new exhaust system.

From the front, the steampunk influences take over. Engineers have practically reinvented the way suspension systems work by placing the upper arm above the chassis while the shocks sit inboard.

We don't understand the choice of wheels at all, but we're going to put it down to the Japanese nature of the car. If this were a buggy, it would need chunky beach tires while a roadster would require sticky radials. But this has skinny profiled tires like a motorcycle, and the white sidewall is on the inside, where you can't really see it.

The interior is just as unique as the rest of the concept. Three people sit inside something that looks like a bathtub with a roof. Everything is red and funky, and all the clock-shaped dials are attached to a chassis rail. The driver sits in the middle and can even see the suspension at work.

Who knew that the same company that makes the Corolla can design something so unique? We're going to take a closer look at the concept when the Tokyo Motor Show starts on October 30th, so stay tuned.

Editor's note: If this concept is related to a key car, the engine is a 0.66-liter, meaning that fancy exhaust is twice the size of the cylinder block.

 
 
 
 
 

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