Cedar and birch EV will make its debut at Milan Design week, with a focus on the car’s permanence and importance in modern life
Jimi Beckwith
4 March 2016

Toyota will bring the Setsuna concept car to Milan Design Week, which takes place on 12-17 April.

The two-seater Setsuna, which translates from Japanese as ‘moment’, is made from Japanese cedar and birch for the frame, with the idea that the wood will pick up marks over time that will tell the car’s story.

Powered by an electric motor, the Setsuna’s shape is inspired by a boat and the wooden bodywork uses a traditional Japanese construction using no screws or nails. It measures 3030mm in length, 1480mm wide and is 970mm tall.

According to Toyota, the Setsuna was created as a reminder of the car’s potential to be a place where memories are made and with which emotional bonds can be formed; this was the reasoning behind the wooden construction.

The engineer in charge of the Setsuna, Kenji Tsuji, said: “We evaluated various ways to express the concept and selected different woods for specific applications, such as Japanese cedar for the exterior panels and Japanese birch for the frame.

“We would also like the viewer to imagine how Setsuna will gradually develop a complex and unique character over the years. It includes a 100-year meter that will mark time across generations, and seats that combine functionality with attractive, gentle hues of the wood.”

Details of the Setsuna are scarce, with more details due for release nearer the model's debut at Milan Design week. 

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