Two Days in a Row Supra

Toyota FT-1 Concept (Supra rumored to be based off the FT-1 Concept design)

Toyota FT-1 Concept (Supra rumored to be based off the FT-1 Concept design)

Yesterday we got spy photos of what appeared to be the prototype of the Toyota Supra.  [Link to that story here]  It hasn’t taken very long for every other automotive publication to jump on the story, providing new details about the Supra’s release date, design, etc.

The most comprehensive story comes from our friends at Car and Driver.  For those details, continue reading…

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Introducing: Setsuna

Toyota Setsuna

Toyota Setsuna

It looks like a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but it’s not.  This is the Setsuna: Toyota’s roadster concept car made from Japanese cedar and Japanese bark.  According to Forbes:

The Ise Grand Shrine, dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, is the holiest shrine of the Shinto religion. Every 20 years, people tear it down. Then, they build it new, all from wood, without a single nail. They have been doing this for around 1,300 years. Instead of preserving a single structure, the original design, and most of all the skill to build, are protected from the eroding effects of time. “Its secret isn’t heroic engineering or structural overkill, but rather cultural continuity,” writes the Long Now Foundation.  Now, Toyota is applying the same idea to a car.

In a month at the Design Week in Milan, Italy,Toyota will show the Setsuna concept, a roadster (not a convertible) whose main chassis and body parts are made from wood. The body consists of replaceable wooden panels, and the overall shape is reminiscent of an Italian Riva speedboat. Setsuna means “moment” in Japanese, a reference to the ephemeral nature of our lives and cars.

Toyota used Japanese cedar for the exterior panels, and Japanese birch for the frame. The floor is made from elm wood (Japanese zelkova, to be precise). The prickly castor oil tree supplies the material for instrument panel and front seats, Japanese cypress provides for the steering wheel. To join the exterior panels with the frame, the same traditional Japanese joinery technique is used that keeps the sun goddess’ shrine together for 20 years. In traditional “okuriari,” no nails or screws are used. Concave and convex shapes hold the pieces together.

Machined aluminum parts and leather covers create a contrast against the wooden materials. In the cockpit, a functional 100-year meter tempts the effects of time.

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Future Friday: S-FR

The Concept Car (concept vehicle: show vehicle and a prototype is a car made to showcase new styling and/or new technology) is one of the most intriguing aspects of the automotive industry.  It’s a peek into what automotive engineers believe the future will look like.  And I think that’s pretty darn cool.  Here is Toyota’s latest offering: the Toyota S-FR.  One downside?  For now the S-FR is a concept vehicle meant for our friends in Japan.  But according to Jalopnik, if the S-FR goes into production and comes to the US, there are stirrings that this little firecracker will be a massive steal–price point starting around $15,000-$18,000!!  Let me know what you think of the S-FR.  Keep scrolling for more pictures!

SFR1

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