Toyota Designs Wooden Concept Car for Milan Design Week
Imagine a driveable, life-sized Soap Box Derby model. That’s the aesthetic of the Toyota Setsuna, a wooden concept car that the Japanese auto manufacturer created for Milan Design Week 2016. Outside reports that the sleek, two-seat roadster made its debut at the exhibition of international design, which ran from April 12-17.
Toyota decided to build the Setsuna—which means “moment” in Japanese—out of wood because it’s “a material that is durable yet prone to change over time,” the auto manufacturer wrote in a release. “The Setsuna symbolizes how cars undergo a gradual transformation over the years, as if absorbing the aspirations, memories, and emotions of multiple generations of a family.”
Designers used a combination of cedar and birch to build the Setsuna’s panels, frame, floor, and seats. However, no nails and screws were involved. Instead, the designers fit the car’s parts together using a Japanese joinery technique called okuriari 3.
The Setsuna, powered by six lead-acid batteries, is beautiful, but is it driveable? Yes, Forbes reports. The vehicle has a 16-mile range, and can hit speeds of 28 miles per hour. Still, the Setsuna is a work of art, more suited for a gallery than the open road.