Toyota Setsuna, Image Credit: BoldRide
Toyota premiered a wooden electric concept car, called the Setsuna, at Milan Design Week in Italy in April and we figured it was high time to pass along some of the highlights of that release.
Setsuna translates to "moment", and the company is using this to symbolize the fact that, being constructed of wood, the car will be "ever-changing".
Many different types of wood will be used for various parts of the two-seater, from the frame and exterior, to the floor and seats. The exterior of the vehicle was built in conjunction with Sumitomo Forestry.
While the car would change color and texture from environmental factors, it would retain its shape and durability.
Toyota engineer, Kenji Tsuji, explained:
"We evaluated various ways to express the concept and selected different lumber materials for specific applications, such as Japanese cedar for the exterior panels and Japanese birch for the frame. We also paid particular attention to the sizes and arrangements of individual parts."
The company employed a traditional Japanese art called "okuriari", to join the structures of the car together with no nails or screws. Tsuji said:
"The completed body line of the Setsuna expresses a beautiful curve reminiscent of a boat. We would also like the viewer to imagine how the Setsuna will gradually develop a complex and unique character over the years. The car includes a 100-year meter that will keep time over generations, and seats that combine functional beauty with the gentle hue of the wood."
Many companies are pushing forward now more than ever to get an upper hand in the electric car market. Concepts like the Setsuna may never see mass production, but many recent "mainstream" concepts will soon hit showrooms.