Date:6 April 2016
The Milan Design Week will welcome a new kind of styling genius when it opens its doors to the public next week. The Setsuna EV concept, constructed mostly of wood, will be the centerpiece of Toyota’s stand at the show – which happens from 21-17 April.
The open-top two-seater’s been designed to express the notion that, as families care for their vehicles and pass it on to the next generation, the car acquires a value that only members of the family can appreciate. While changing in colour and feel over the years, the car also absorbs the aspirations and emotions of the new generations. The name Setsuna (moment in Japanese), was chosen to “reflect that people experience precious, fleeting moments together with their cars. Toyota believes that, over time, these collective moments make their cars irreplaceable to their owners.”
The Setsuna is crafted out of different types of wood for specific areas. Japanese cedar has been used for the exterior panels because of its flexibility and distinctive grain, whereas Japanese birch has been used for the vehicles frame due to its strength and rigidity, and Japanese zelkova wood for the seat thanks to its hard-wearing nature.
The Setsuna’s body consists of 86 handmade panels, and construction requires no screws or nails. Aluminium is the other obvious material that’s been used to bring the Setsuna to life, being featured prominently on the wheel caps, steering wheel and in the seat frames.
“The completed body line of the Setsuna expresses a beautiful curve reminiscent of a boat. We would also like the viewer to imagine how the Setsuna will gradually develop a complex and unique character over the years,” says, Kenji Tsuji, the engineer overseeing development of the Setsuna.
Clearly a design study, the Toyota Setsuna doesn’t sport an engine yet, though we’re led to believe that it’s an EV.