You don’t need to be a car enthusiast or woodworking fan to fall in love with Toyota’s gorgeous Setsuna concept car. Meticulously crafted from 86 handmade wooden panels, the Setsuna—named after the Japanese Buddhist word for “moment” or “instant”—is a stunning operable vehicle scheduled to debut at Milan Design Week from April 12 to April 17. “Toyota's unique wooden roadster was conceived to embody the affection owners grow to feel for their cars," Toyota representatives said in a press release, and to show how cars continue to change and offer new value as they are taken care of with love over time,” company representatives said.
Designed by Toyota engineer Kenji Tsuji and his team, the Setsuna concept car is envisioned as a family heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation. This concept is communicated through a handsome aluminum 100-year meter with hands that count the passage of days and years over 100-year timespans. Continual growth and the “accumulation of moments” are also symbolized with a radial flower-like metal emblem installed on the hood of the car.
Different types of timber were carefully selected for specific components of the Setsuna. Japanese cedar—available in either a formal straight grain or softer cross grain—was used for the exterior panels, while the frame is made of Japanese birch that is both rigid and strong. Japanese zelkova lines the floor and the seats are constructed of smooth-textured castor aralia. The beautiful wood panels are joined together with traditional Japanese techniques, such as okuriari and kusabi, neither of which use nails or screws. Aluminum accents, from the wheel caps to the steering wheel, offer a striking visual contrast to the exposed wood grain.
The car is designed to age beautifully over time as the wooden elements slowly blend and develop deeper patinas. In the event of damage, individual panels of the Setsuna can be replaced rather than needing to replace the whole body. While the beautiful Setsuna can be driven, it’s not supposed to be driven on public roads like a normal car. It will be on display to the public at Milan Design Week from April 12 to April 17, 2016 at Via Tortona 31 in Milan.
Via Spoon & Tamago
Images via Toyota