Japanese Toyota Car from… wood! (Milano, Setsuna Project)

The new Setsuna from Toyota is really a very special car: its chassis is made entirely of wood. Toyota wants to show that wood developed a completely own patina, which has its own value for car owners. If you are close to Milan, come and take a look.

“Nothing is impossible, Toyoooota” anyone who knows this beautiful slogan: “Sung by two monkeys in the 90’s” at the end of each Corolla advertising. Now, the Japanese with their concept study Setsuna prove that this slogan still applies.

Car from wood -1The world’s largest design fair: “design week in Milan” for Toyota team will be from April 11 to 17 with special topic: “The Setsuna is made of wood”.

Japanese Birch for the frame

Wood is not the material of first choice in the automotive industry, it is used for a noble dashboard or a tactile steering wheel in expensive luxury sedans. Not so with Toyota. For the part of the three-meter Setsuna concept was used among other Japanese Birch.

Car from wood -6The exterior consists of local cedar wood. The design is completed by some aluminum parts, which unite aesthetic wonderfully with the look of wood. The concept study Setsuna is an open two seater Roadster, which comes to a width of 1480 mm and at an altitude of 970 mm. The curved chassis somewhat reminiscent of a boat. Only the wheels visually disturb this Association.

Setsuna can be translated as “Moment”

The name of the concept study is a pun: Setsuna can be translated from the Japanese by the term “Moment”. That is meant to reflect the Setsuna: all the fleeting moments, experience the people and in their cars.

Car from wood -7The wood car stand “for the gradual transformation of cars taking longings, memories and emotions of entire generations of motorists and their families in the course of their life cycle”, as Toyota. “Through these experiences, the car wins an individual value for each individual user.” For Toyota, wood is a durable material that although changed its color and structure, but with proper care lasts for decades.

The Setsuna is built without any screws or nails

Toyota has remained also during Assembly of the wooden tradition Setsuna concept and has her mind on an old Japanese technique. “For the composition of the individual parts, we used the traditional Japanese carpentry technique Okuriari that requires no screws and nails,” explains project leader Kenji Tsuji.

Even the steering wheel made of cypress wood was mounted in the Okuriari technique. Toyota engineers think the Setsuna concept sustainable and across generations. The wooden cart has a 100-year counter on board. This chronometer to measure the time for generations for which the car was built.

Concept study drives electric car very slowly

One thing is also clear: the Setsuna is primarily a publicity stunt. The concept study presented in Milan comes to a maximum speed of 45 km/h is powered of Setsuna by two small electric motors, Toyota is silent about their performance. So much is known: there are six lead-acid cell batteries that are otherwise used in motor scooters which move the Setsuna.

Setsuna is a Japanese word meaning "a moment"
Setsuna is a Japanese word meaning “a moment”

30 kilometers of Setsuna comes as the moment with this battery pack. This is certainly still be expanded or Kenji Tsuji says: “The car can develop a complex and unique character over the years.” Nothing is impossible.