Toyota will introduce the Setsuna, a concept car made primarily of wood, at Milan Design Week in April.  Courtesy of Toyota

Toyota’s Latest Concept Car Is Made of Wood

Mar 04, 2016

Concept cars are typically designed to showcase futuristic ideas and technology. Toyota is taking a decidedly Old World approach with a concept car it plans to unveil soon.

Toyota's Setsuna concept car, which translates to "moment" in Japanese, aims to embody the fleeting moments people have together with their vehicles. So instead of a self-driving car equipped with a lounge, or a vehicle covered in touchscreens for constant engagement on social media, this car is made of wood because the material more accurately illustrates time or aging. Toyota designers took this old school approach even further by using a Japanese technique that doesn't use nails or screw in order to form the structure of the wooden car.

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Toyota designers and engineers used Japanese cedar for the exterior panels and Japanese birch for the frame. The curves of the car aim to be reminiscent of a wooden boat, according to Toyota.

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The roadster is apparently powered by an electric motor, although the company didn't provide any details about the powertrain or range of its battery.

Kenji Tsuji, the Toyota engineer overseeing development of the Setsuna, has helped with the development for a number of concept cars from the legacy automaker, including a three-seater electric vehicle called the Camatte 57S built for children and displayed at the annual Tokyo Toy Show.

The wooden car will debut at Milan Design Week in Italy, an annual event also known as Salone del Mobile, where furniture manufacturers and fashion brand gather to showcase their designs.

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