Skip to main content

Toyota wants your family to keep the wood-bodied Setsuna for a century

Toyota Setsuna concept
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Toyota is attending the annual Milan Design Week for the first time ever to display a brand new concept called Setsuna.

Built largely out of wood, the Setsuna — a word that means “moment” in Japanese — is designed to stay in the same family for at least a century. Toyota predicts that, over time, the car will become priceless because of the sentimental value that will become associated with it. A 100-year meter installed in the cockpit helps future generations keep track of how long ago it was built.

The body panels, the frame, the floors, and the seats are all crafted out of several different types of wood. Notably, the exterior body panels are made using Japanese cedar, and the floors are made from Japanese birch. Toyota explains it chose not to use sheet metal because wood lasts a long time if it’s properly taken care of, and because its color and texture both change in different environments. Ultimately, the Setsuna should develop a unique, inimitable patina that reflects decades of use.

To achieve a clean, streamlined look, Toyota assembled the roadster without any nails or screws using a traditional Japanese joinery technique called okuriari.

With room for two passengers, the Setsuna stretches 119 inches long, 58 inches wide, and just 38 inches tall. It’s powered by an all-electric drivetrain, but technical specifications — such as what it’s made up of and how far it can drive on a single charge — haven’t been published yet.

The Setsuna is merely a design study built for the Milan Design Week, and Toyota isn’t currently planning on bringing it to production. Similarly, there’s no indication that the company is looking at ways to introduce a series-produced car made out of wood.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
Here’s how EVs charge as they drive on a stretch of Michigan road
Tech of the Week Electreon

Charging remains one of the biggest hurdles for mass EV adoption. Public charging infrastructure still isn’t extensive enough to merit driver confidence, and even the fastest chargers still require lengthy stops compared to refueling a gasoline car. But the State of Michigan and Israeli startup Electreon hope to prove that EVs can charge as they drive.

As detailed in a recent CleanTechnica explainer, the Michigan Department of Transportation is demonstrating in-road wireless charging hardware from Electreon on a quarter-mile stretch of 14th Street in Detroit. It’s being billed as the first such roadway in the U.S.

Read more
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580: range, price, release date, and more
Range of Mercedes-Benz G580 vehicles

Rumors about a full-size electric G-Class have been circulating for some time, but it's official now. The G-Wagon is going electric, in the form of the new fully electric "Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology." Yep, the name is a mouthful -- taking the name from the concept version of this car, the Concept EQG, might have been a better move. Bu, regardless, the vehicle is sure to appeal to those who want a G-Wagon while getting all the benefits of an EV.

Curious about the G580 with EQ Technology? Here's everything you need to know.
The G580 retains many of the design aspects of the G-Class you already know and love, and while the concept iteration had some modern touches, like light bars on the exterior of the car, the real-world version looks pretty similar to the non-electric G-Wagon, though that's not to say there aren't any design changes whatsoever.

Read more
Don’t get stranded: The best portable tire inflators in 2024
The DeWalt 20V Max portable tire inflator at a construction site.

There’s nothing worse than getting stranded on the side of the road because of a bad tire. That’s why it pays to drive around with a portable tire inflator hanging out somewhere in your car or truck. These devices aren’t very big, and you probably won’t even use it that much. That being said, when your tire-pressure sensor lights kicks on, you’ll be happy you have it.

Here are five of the best portable tire inflators you can toss in your trunk for 2024.

Read more