Setsuna Wooden Concept car

Photo essay: Toyota's Setsuna Wooden Concept car

Toyota has been venturing into extreme carpentry, as it unveiled its Setsuna Wooden Concept car at Milan Design Week in April. The vehicle – powered by an electric motor – was constructed using a traditional Japanese joinery technique called okuriari, which doesn’t use any nails or screws.

Diverse woods were used for specific purposes, like Japanese cedar for the exterior panels and Japanese birch for the frame. Wipe-lacquering used on the door mirrors, seats and steering wheel enhanced the wood grain.

86 handmade parts make up the Setsuna, which means ‘moment’ in Japanese. Toyota chose the name to capture the evolving relationship between people and their cars.

For the seats, castor aralia wood, known for its smooth properties, was selected. The woods chosen for the car can last for many generations if properly looked after.

The car’s colour and texture will change over the years in response to its environment, especially in changing temperatures and humidity. The Japanese car maker hopes the Setsuna will develop its own complex character as time passes.

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