The Splinter is a very unusual and innovative vehicle. It's the first supercar ever to be designed and engineered using wood as the primary construction material. In the past some vehicles have used wood to various degrees in their construction, but never to the extent the Splinter does.
The Splinter is a graduate project by students at North Carolina State University. Wood has been used where possible, including the chassis, body, and even a large percentage of the suspension components and wheels.
While moving components like the suspension might seem impossible to fashion out of wood, the Splinter team realized that a leaf spring shares many traits with longbows, flexible, durable and with progressive spring rates. After research they decided to use Osage orange wood, which is the strongest wood found in North America. The front suspension therefore comprises of a laminated Osage orange wood leaf spring transversely mounted and providing suspension for both front wheels.
The wheels of the Splinter are made from rotary cut oak veneers. Each veneer was rotated 36 degrees from the previous layer to maximize grain direction alignment with the spokes. A walnut sunburst was cut for the front while a cherry sunburst was used on the back.
The mid-engined layout of the Splinter wooden supercar comprises of a 4.6 litre, twin supercharged V8 mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox and Getrag limited slip differential.
The Splinter is not intended for mass production, nor is it designed to break and performance or handling records. The design is merely to show that with intelligent and creative thinking a car can be created out of the most unlikely materials.