Fresh thinking: Toyota takes on Morgan with Setsuna concept! CAR+, June 2016

Published: 01 May 2016

► Take a look at the Toyota Setsuna concept
► Features 86 handmade exterior panels
► ‘A simplistic warm wooden roadster’

Setsuna? Sounds fruity…

The citrus-y name is the least of this Toyota concept’s curiosities. Created for the Japanese manufacturer’s first appearance at Milan Design Week, the Setsuna is like a posh children’s push-about toy, in that it’s primarily made out of wood.

Wood? Has Toyota suddenly decided to take on Morgan?

Maybe a little bit of that. The idea is that compared to the cold-steel disposable inhumanity of a modern high-tech motor, a simplistic warm wooden roadster could become something for a family to treasure and cherish over generations.

What – like an heirloom?

Exactly! The theory goes that the Setsuna’s wooden elements will age over time, shaped by the presence and experiences of the people who own, interact with and love it. It even has a ‘100-year clock’, which counts the passing years until a century has gone by.

What if this loving family has a fender bender?

They’ll get splinters! But thanks to traditional Japanese joinery techniques, the 86 handmade exterior panels are removable and replaceable. And since the concept is unlikely to get past Milan, NCAP won’t fret too much.

Read more from the June 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CAR's road test team

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds