Toyota Kikai is a strange machine

Toyota has turned the automobile inside out.

The automaker’s new Kikai concept exposes its mechanical parts to the elements, including the suspension and mid-mounted engine, giving it the looks of a futuristic T-bucket hot rod.

Toyota says the idea behind it is to turn the machinery into objects of admiration and create a connection between car and driver that’s more analog than digital.

That driver sits in a central position, with two passenger located to the sides and slightly behind. Windows in the floor help enhance a sensation of speed and put the front control arms on display.

The fuel gauge is filled with liquid to mark its level, and the navigation system uses a large physical arrow to give directions. It’s all very steampunk, but Toyota hasn’t explained why the destination appears to be a pig located 570 meters ahead.

The Japanese word Kikai can mean either “strange” or “machine.” In this case, both apply.