Move over carbon fibre, this beauty is made primarily of wood!
Toyota Setsuna, meaning "moment" in Japanese, is a two-seat electric, beautifully boat-shaped wooden roadster-like car. To explain their choice of material, Toyota stated that it decided to go with wood because it is "durable yet prone to change over time." The company believes that "people experience precious, fleeting moments together with their cars. Over time, these collective moments make their cars irreplaceable to their owners."
Wood, as they say at Toyota, provides uniquely appealing characteristics that are not offered in conventional cars: it can last for many generations if properly taken care of and 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.
Kenji Tsuji, the Toyota engineer overseeing development of the Setsuna, said of his process: "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. For the assembly structure, we adopted a traditional Japanese joinery technique called okuriari3 which does not use any nails or screws. The completed body line of the Setsuna expresses a beautiful curve reminiscent of a boat. 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."
This EV concept, however, can't be legally driven on the road and it's not for sale. It is merely a prototype the company is showcasing in order to gather information and feedback, which is to help them with their future vehicle designs.
Toyota Setsuna concept car is making its debut at the Milan Design Week in April 2016.