In a world where steel, aluminum, plastic, and carbon fiber are the dominate materials that make up the cars we drive, Toyota has done something different. Meet the Toyota Setsuna Concept – a car that is made almost entirely out of wood. Well, that might be a little exaggerated, the chassis, suspension, and drivetrain are still made out of some kind of metal, and the tires are still made of rubber, but the body, and most of the interior is made from a choice selection of wood. Interesting, huh?
Toyota claims the decision to use wood to make this concept is because it reflects the developing relationship between people and their cars, saying it “symbolizes how cars undergo gradual transformation.” For the concept, several different types of wood were used, and while something like this could never go into production, Toyota claims it could last over several family generations if it is properly taken care of.
Kenji Tsuki, the lead engineer of the Setsuna Concept, said, “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. For the assembly structure, we adopted a traditional Japanese joinery technique called okuriari3, which does not use any nails or screws.”
So, even though this isn’t necessarily a “serious” concept, it means something to Toyota. A 100-year meter has even been included with the car that keeps track of time as the years pass and the car ages – changing as the wood its built out of does. So with that said, let’s take a look at this rather interesting concept.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Setsuna Concept.