The Wooden Toyota Setsuna Lumbers Into Milan Design Week
8 Mars 2016 - Autoblog
The Toyota Setsuna concept's flowing lines and classic shape should fit in perfectly during the public debut at Milan Design Week in April.
While the vehicle is aesthetically beautiful, the even more magnificent thing about it is the craftsmanship that's necessary to create this nautical shape. Rather than traditional automotive materials like steel or even cutting edge parts like carbon fiber, the Setsuna is predominantly made of wood.
Kenji Tsuji, who oversees the project, and his teams used a technique called okuriari to join the parts without using nails or screws. The Setsuna features Japanese cedar for the exterior panels and Japanese birch for the frame. The crew also makes the floor and seats from wood. We look forward to seeing better photos of the concept when it debuts in Italy because Toyota's single shot doesn't show all these details.
According to Forbes, the Setsuna is drivable, albeit not very far. It reportedly uses six lead-acid batteries that give the vehicle a total range of about 16 miles and allows the electric motor to accelerate the roadster to 28 miles per hour. The Setsuna definitely won't win a race against the Cedar Rocket log drag racer, though.
Tsuji wants the roadster to slowly change over time in a similar way our relationship with a car morphs as we live with it. "We would also like the viewer to imagine how the Setsuna will gradually develop a complex and unique character over the years," he said. A 100-year meter inside keeps track as that time ticks by.