Cars have had wood components since they were invented. Many RVs and other specialty vehicles still use wood in their manufacturing. However, the new Toyota Setsuna (the name means “moment”) goes further than most EVs by using primarily wood as its body material.
The new electric vehicle concept will be on display at the coming Milan Design Week. Toyota says “The decision to use wood―a material that is durable yet prone to change over time―reflects Toyota's efforts to give form to the developing relationships between people and their cars.” The two-seat convertible looks like the love child of a Mazda Miata and a Chris Craft. Toyota chose a variety of woods for the body, frame, floor and seats. Yes, the seats are made from wood too. The construction uses the traditional Japanese assembly process called okuriari, which uses no metal fasteners.
The idea behind the car is that over time it would take on a unique look as it aged in its unique environment. Toyota is not kidding about over time. The car comes with a 100-year meter. Engineer Kenji Tsuji oversaw the build. Last fall Lexus revealed a cardboard-constructed RC coupe.