This year, at the 2016 Milan Expo, Toyota has gone ‘old school’ in a new way! They have created an open-top two-seater vehicle from wood and sidestepped the argument that all great new cars need to have the latest gadgets and look hi-tech.
The ‘Setsuna’ concept car was designed in wood (proven to generate more affection from owners over their metal counterparts). Toyota’s concept is that love grows as time passes (just as wood gains a wonderful patina over time as owner and vehicle create a history together).
Traditional Japanese joinery techniques are used to join the vehicle together (especially the ‘okuriari’ and “kusabi” joints). Using the ‘Okuriari means no nails to fix panels (and panels can easily be removed and replaced showing ecological concerns). Other joints (split tenons) lock different parts of the vehicle into place (through corresponding tenons) ensuring the rigidity of the structure.
Materials include the Japanese Zelkova (normally used for ornamentation purposes) and Castor Aralia. The wheels, seat-frames and steering wheel are made from aluminium contrasting beautifully with wooden elements.
Over time this wooden beauty will begin to feel irreplaceable, leading to a desire to keep rather than replace as with obsolescence. The car itself is fully functional, however it isn’t road legal. It’s an unusual gem indeed!var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);