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Toyota to Unveil 'Wooden' Car at Milan Design Week


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Toyota to Unveil 'Wooden' Car at Milan Design Week

Certainly looks like Toyota can see the wood for the trees as the Japanese car manufacturer is set to unveil a ‘wooden’ concept car this week at Milan Design Week.

The Toyota ‘Setsuna’ – which means ‘moment’ in Japanese – is an open-top two-seater roadster and has been designed with 86 hand-craft panels of wooden cedar in a frame of birch.

Metal parts have been kept to a minimum by the carmaker with the Setsuna powered by just six batteries that give it a range of 16 miles and a top speed of 28mph!

Speed, however, was not the objective behind making the concept car according to Toyota. The lead designer, Kenji Tsuji, says the company created the Setsuna because they ‘envisaged a family pouring its love into the car over generations so it gains an irreplaceable value’.

Tsuji wanted to form a ‘bond between the car and the family, like the growth rings of a tree’. Toyota added that the aim of the Setsuna was to ‘demonstrate the developing relationships between people and their cars’.

The body of the Setsuna uses traditional Japanese joinery technique known as ‘okuriari’. This means that that, incredibly, no screws or nails are used in the construction of the car. Instead, it relies on joints that are perfectly carved to hold all the components of the Toyota car together.

The dial on the dashboard of the Setsuna counts the time in hours, days and years – this is an exercise in Zen – a form of Buddhism – which has been designed to prompt the driver to ‘value time and memories instead of the distance travelled’ says Toyota.

The Toyota Setsuna will be on display from next week at Milan Design Week in Italy but, before you start thinking about putting down a deposit for one, the wooden car cannot be driven on public roads.

 

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