Toyota made a wooden car that can actually driveApr 5th, 2016
When it comes to concept cars, automakers sometimes like to get creative. Like in December, when Lexus made a car that drove successfully on ice wheels.
Now its parent company is pushing the envelope with a concept car made almost entirely out of wood.
The best part — the car can actually drive. Here’s a closer look:
Toyota made the concept car for the Milan Design Week running April 12 to 17 to dispel the notion that “modern cars have to be high-tech machines.”
The open two-seater, dubbed Setsuna, is made of Japanese cedar for the outside panels, rigid Japanese birch for the frame, and Japanese zelkova for the seats.
Toyota teamed up with Tokyo-based wood company Sumitomo Forestry to create the concept car.
The Setsuna is made up of 86 handmade panels using a technique called okuriari, meaning they were put together using joints instead of nails.
Toyota wrote in its press release that the technique “makes for stronger joints and allows minor changes to be made to the mortise and dovetail joints if they become worn over time.”
The Setsuna is meant to serve as a Toyota heirloom. Toyota went with wood because as it ages it will bend and darken, symbolizing the passage of time.
The dashboard will count the passing years up to a century.
Although the car can drive on its own, it’s not street legal since it is made of wood.
This is actually not the first time we’ve seen a functioning wooden car. Industrial designer Joe Harmon showed one off at the Essen Motor Show in Germany in December.