When it comes to subjects related to future technology a car made out of wood wouldn’t be something that springs to mind, right? Well think again.
As Toyota City, Japan has built a concept car made out of wood, it’s named Setsuna, meaning “moment” in Japanese and is specifically designed to be an heirloom. Toyota believes that, people experience precious, fleeting moments together with their cars and that over time, these collective moments make their cars irreplaceable to their owners.
Wood provides uniquely appealing characteristics that are not offered in conventional cars. It can last for many generations if properly taken care of. It also changes in coloration and texture in response to its environment (particularly temperature and humidity) and conditions of use, taking on a unique character and depth.
The Setsuna will debut at Milan Design Week in April. And though it has a wooden aesthetic the car has many surprising new things such as its assembly structure. As Toyota has built it using traditional joinery techniques (Okuriari) that don’t use screws or nails. And it has an electric drive train which adds an element of the future technology that today’s modern cars are associated with.
The completed body line of the Setsuna expresses a beautiful curve reminiscent of a boat a perfect little number that has little two-seater that’s only ten feet long and 4′-10 wide, barely three feet tall. Different lumber materials were used for specific applications, such as Japanese cedar for the exterior panels and Japanese birch for the frame. Particular attention was also paid to the sizes and arrangements of individual parts.
But what’s most interesting is Toyota’s attempt at bringing back the attachment to cars that people used to have.