There’s some strange fetish going on here and we don’t know what to make of it. Toyota seems to have let its hair down for this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, and alongside the S-FR junior sports car at the Big Sight will be this – the Toyota Kikai concept.

Toyota said that it created the Kikai (‘machine’ in Japanese) to help people sincerely appreciate that machines represent a crystallisation of human wisdom. The car aims to highlight the beauty, precision and mechanical workings of a car by literally providing windows on action that’s normally out of view. We already have the naked bike, say hello to the naked car.

The Kikai is a hybrid, because its maker says that hybrids, which feature elaborate control of the engine and electric motor by way of a planetary gear, overflow with the allure of machines. Exposed elements include the engine, suspension fuel tank and exhaust piping. Such a car makes maintenance easy, and safety isn’t an issue thanks to the high rigidity of the CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced polymer) cabin.

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Speaking of the cabin, this is a three-seater with the driver in the centre, winged by two rear passengers who have unlimited legroom. Uniquely, there are a pair of windows located at the driver’s foot area, which allows he/she to see the movement of the wheels, front suspension and road surface, giving the driver a keener sense of speed. Also, the give-and-take of the suspension’s upper arms can be seen via the windscreen.

The raw, mechanical theme of the Kikai is matched with analogue instruments and straightforward ON/OFF toggle switches with a reassuring click. The doors however, are electric sliding units on both sides.

There’s a strange appeal to this “thing”, I have to admit. What do you think?