Toyota Branches Out with Wooden Setsuna Concept Car

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Carbon fiber, aluminum, lightweight steel, and the always-mysterious “Alcantara” seem to be the typical building blocks of modern cars. Toyota, however, has decided to build its latest concept car out of something a bit more, renewable. Wood.

Meet the Toyota Setsuna concept, which marks Toyota’s debut appearance at the Milan Design Week next month.

Measuring in about 48 inches shorter than Toyota’s own GT 86, the small two-seat Setsuna utilizes a variety of wood types in its construction, such as exterior panels sourced from Japanese cedar to a frame composed of Japanese birch. Even the floor and seats are made of lumber. You won’t find any screws or nails holding the smooth exterior planks together though. Toyota has used a traditional Japanese wood-joining method called okuriari in its construction.

While the Setsuna is clearly a visual design concept, and a pretty sleek one at that, Toyota says it does indeed contain an electric motor, which can zip the lightweight car around.

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As for why Toyota decided upon wood as the basis for the Setsuna, the concept car is meant to express the personal attachment and emotional appeal of a vehicle as it and its occupants grow together overtime, making it much more than just a material possession. That’s a feeling many car owners can relate to. The Setsuna, which means “moment” in Japanese, also uniquely features a 100-year meter that keeps time over generations.

Its looks may be polarizing, but give them time and they’re sure to grow on you too. Need to see the concept car in person? Toyota’s exhibition at the Milan Design Week kicks off on April 11th.

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