When most people think of a wooden vehicle, they don’t think high performance. They are more likely to picture a canoe made of a hollowed-out log or a rickety wagon made of nailed-together planks. The Splinter, a high-performance, wooden supercar, is not made from these construction techniques. Essentially every wooden part of the Splinter is made from composite construction. Composites like carbon fiber or fiberglass have been seen in cars for decades, but a car using wood composites to the extent that the Splinter does has never been built before.
The inspiration behind the Splinter was a WWII airplane called the de Havilland Mosquito. The chassis is built almost entirely of wood composites. A mold was built for every individual component. These components were trimmed, fit and bonded together to form the chassis. Equipped with two Rolls-Royce V12 engines, it was the fastest piston-driven plane of its era, and was made almost entirely out of wood.
The Splinter began as a graduate school project at North Carolina State University and has continued since. It is presented at the Essen Motorshow