Earlier this year, few images surfaced of Toyota’s brand new concept car that could very well defy what we know about automotive design. Crafted with traditional “Okuriari” and “Kusabi” joint techniques by Toyota engineer Kenji Tsuji and his team, the Setsuna vehicle is a fully functional car that’s entirely made from 86 panels of fine Japanese wood of different grains, without the use of any nails or screws. The exterior is constructed from two types of Japanese cedar — a straight grain and a cross grain, both selected for their refined wood grain and flexible properties — while the chassis is made of a more rigid Japanese birch. Inside, strong Japanese zelkova panels make up the floor for its excellent durability, and a smooth castor aralia make up the chairs.
“When we created the Setsuna, we envisaged a family pouring its love into it over generations so that the car gains an irreplaceable value,” said Tsuji, who also consulted with wood specialists SUMITOMO FORESTRY. ”Continuous development is possible in the form of bonds between the car and the family, like the growth rings of a tree. to proceed with the development of a car utilizing the appeal of wood, we directly spoke with experts with wide-ranging knowledge, including carpenters specializing in temple and shrine construction and ship’s carpenters. By displaying the setsuna, which was created with these hopes in mind and receiving a wide range of opinions, we believe that we can further improve this concept. one piece of feedback that we received in particular was the hope that we would incorporate this concept into car manufacturing in the future.”
Toyota is set to officially unveil the Setsuna at Milan Design Week 2016.
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