Automotive

Toyota Setsuna Concept: A wooden time machine on wheels

The Setsuna is a concept vehicle designed and built by Kenji Tsuji and his team of Toyota engineers
The Setsuna is a concept vehicle designed and built by Kenji Tsuji and his team of Toyota engineers
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Debuting in April at Milan Design Week, the Toyota Setsuna concept is a wooden masterpiece that combines this timeless material with a 100-year chronograph
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Debuting in April at Milan Design Week, the Toyota Setsuna concept is a wooden masterpiece that combines this timeless material with a 100-year chronograph
The Setsuna is meant to be passed down from generation to generation as an heirloom
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The Setsuna is meant to be passed down from generation to generation as an heirloom
The Setsuna is a concept vehicle designed and built by Kenji Tsuji and his team of Toyota engineers
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The Setsuna is a concept vehicle designed and built by Kenji Tsuji and his team of Toyota engineers
The engineers say that they chose wood as their medium for the car’s build because wood changes and gains character over time as it’s cared for
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The engineers say that they chose wood as their medium for the car’s build because wood changes and gains character over time as it’s cared for
The team used specific woods for various parts of the working car, including nearly all of the structure
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The team used specific woods for various parts of the working car, including nearly all of the structure
The exterior is made of Japanese cedar for long-life and its particular hue
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The exterior is made of Japanese cedar for long-life and its particular hue
Japanese birch makes up the framing and some chassis components because of its rigid nature
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Japanese birch makes up the framing and some chassis components because of its rigid nature
Body panels can be removed and replaced on the Setsuna
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Body panels can be removed and replaced on the Setsuna
The removable body means access for repairs is made easier
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The removable body means access for repairs is made easier
The exterior has two grain patterns that can be swapped out when desired
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The exterior has two grain patterns that can be swapped out when desired
The exterior has two grain patterns that can be swapped out when desired
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The exterior has two grain patterns that can be swapped out when desired
The radial clock/meter inside the car sits on the dashboard and ticks away the time over a 100 year span
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The radial clock/meter inside the car sits on the dashboard and ticks away the time over a 100 year span
Key to the concept is the Setsuna emblem, made to symbolize the “accumulation of moments”
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Key to the concept is the Setsuna emblem, made to symbolize the “accumulation of moments”
To join the woods, traditional Japanese woodworking was called upon, allowing most of the joints to be done without nails or screws
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To join the woods, traditional Japanese woodworking was called upon, allowing most of the joints to be done without nails or screws
Okuriari and Kusabi techniques were used to join the woods throughout the car
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Okuriari and Kusabi techniques were used to join the woods throughout the car
To finish the woods, a wipe-lacquering finish was applied by hand to many of the car’s parts, including mirror housings, body banding lines, and the steering wheel
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To finish the woods, a wipe-lacquering finish was applied by hand to many of the car’s parts, including mirror housings, body banding lines, and the steering wheel
Even the seats are made of wood
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Even the seats are made of wood

Debuting in April at Milan Design Week, the Toyota Setsuna concept is a wooden masterpiece that combines this timeless material with a 100-year chronograph. Made to embody the family affection that is often imbued in our cars, the Setsuna is meant to be passed along as an heirloom.

The Setsuna is a concept vehicle designed and built by Kenji Tsuji and his team of Toyota engineers. The engineers say that they chose wood as their medium for the car's build because wood changes and gains character over time as it's cared for. The idea being that the Setsuna would be passed on from generation to generation and the wood it's made from would change in hue and texture with that passing time.

The team used specific woods for various parts of the working car, including nearly all of the structure
The team used specific woods for various parts of the working car, including nearly all of the structure

The team used specific woods for various parts of the working car, including nearly all of the structure. Metal comprises only a very small part of the Setsuna's overall design. The exterior is made of Japanese cedar for long-life and its particular hue. Japanese birch makes up the framing and some chassis components because of its rigid nature. Japanese zelkova, known for its durability, was used for the flooring while castor aralia was used for the seating.

The exterior has two grain patterns that can be swapped out when desired. A straight grain gives a flowing, simple look whereas a cross grain has a more natural, characteristic appeal. To join the woods, traditional Japanese woodworking was called upon, allowing most of the joints to be secured without nails or screws. Okuriari and Kusabi techniques were used. Okuriari is a housed dovetail joint that can be easily slipped free without tools, but which holds its position when under pressure. Kusabi, a type of mortise and tenon joint, is used on framing and other structural components of the Setsuna.

The exterior has two grain patterns that can be swapped out when desired
The exterior has two grain patterns that can be swapped out when desired

To finish the woods, a wipe-lacquering finish was applied by hand to many of the car's parts, including mirror housings, body banding lines, and the steering wheel. This multi-layer lacquering technique sees its applique in stages, being wiped on, with the grain, repeatedly. A few aluminum finish pieces band the Setsuna to augment the look of the aluminum steering wheel frame and wheels.

Key to the concept are the Setsuna emblem, made to symbolize the "accumulation of moments." The radial emblem mirrors the radial clock/meter inside the car, which sits on the dashboard and ticks away the time over a 100 year span. Hands on the clock denote the minutes and hours while a rolling meter denotes years.

Source: Toyota

7 comments
Bob Flint
Does it float?
RickMcMaster
This looks great! The next step is to make this water tight and add a few more items. You'll have the cross between the wonderful wooden boats and an automobile - a wooden amphicar.
Dan Parker
You may not have to worry about the body panels rusting out on this car, but termites and woodpeckers are another story.
unklmurray
I'm really ready to buy one of these,I have long liked wooden bodied cars,wood is so much more fun to work with that steel.......How much and Where do I get mine??
JOAT
My first thought - looks like a bloated kayak.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat looking.
RandyHebb
Totally worthless. The "fenders" are all wrong and will not direct water coming off the tires at all. If you take this out on a wet road the driver will get soaked. Completely stupid design, wasteful, dangerous and plain dumb. Oh and the looks, UGLY.
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