As a kid, I used to love Technical Lego and Meccano, so I suppose it is little wonder that I also love the big, bold, chunky Toyota Kikai unveiled at the Tokyo motor show.

The concept car is a celebration of engineering. Its insides are on the outside, so you can see all the working parts - 1.5-litre engine, suspension, steering and safety cell.

Setting aside the practical challenges of having a car’s working parts so exposed to the elements, I asked Kazuo Suyama, project leader behind the funky car, what inspired it.

“In modern cars, it is very hard for young people to see the movement of the steering wheel and the suspension. Usually designers draw beautiful lines to create cars but I think engineering is beautiful, so we didn’t need to touch it,” he said.

The Kikai - which draws power from a 1.5-litre petrol-electric powertrain - features a 1+2 seating arrangement that puts the driver at the heart of the action.

It has sliding doors and a glass front bulkhead similar to a helicopter, so the driver can see the road passing under his feet.

“We wanted to create a real connection between the driving seat, the car and the road,” said Suyama.