It sounds interesting how Technology evolves, from solid metal to fibre and now wood! We hope it doesn’t catch fire easily. We leave that to Toyota to convince us of its usability. In a few weeks time at the Design Week in Milan, Italy, Toyota is set to launch the Setsuna concept, a roadster (not a convertible) whose main chassis and body parts are made from wood. This wooden car was an idea of Toyota’s chief engineer Kenji Tsuji, and Kota Nezu of znug design.
The body consists of replaceable wooden panels, and the overall shape is reminiscent of an Italian Riva speedboat. Setsuna means “moment” in Japanese, a reference to the ephemeral nature of our lives and cars. Japanese cedar were used for the exterior panels and Japanese birch for the frame. The floor is made from Japanese zelkova usually called elm wood. The prickly castor oil tree supplies the material for instrument panel and front seats, Japanese cypress provides for the steering wheel.
The Traditional Japanese joinery technique is used to join the exterior panels with the frame (This technique was used to keep the sun goddess’ shrine together for 20 years). In traditional “okuriari,” no nails or screws are used. Concave and convex shapes hold the pieces together. Machined aluminum parts and leather covers create a contrast against the wooden materials. In the cockpit, a functional 100-year meter tempts the effects of time.
Don’t expect this wooden child in the showrooms as the Japanese carmaker plans “to collect feedback from a wide range of people—including experts such as cutting-edge designers and creators, as well as the general public—and maybe even use the results in developing future vehicles.”
Credit – Forbes