Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BMW GINA Light Visionary Model: Trailer

Geometry and functions In 'N' Adaptions) concept revealed.

BMW have released sensational pictures of their new concept car, Gina, which is made out of cloth.

As fabric roofs for convertibles fall out of favour, BMW has discovered what to do with all that left over material; cover the rest of the car in it.

The GINA Light Visionary Model is a two seat roadster with a textile cover that resists water and extremes of temperature stretched across a moveable metal framework for an almost seamless outer body.

BMW Gina Concept
Dressing a lightweight aluminium spaceframe chassis are just four body sections. The largest stretches from the front of the car and forms the bonnet, front wings and doors. Side panels stretch from behind the front wheels and run to the rear of the car where a fourth part forms the rear deck.

The car's real sci-fi trick however is its ability to morph; changing shape like the liquid metal robot in Terminator 2 depending on what is required of it. Metal wires pin the hi-tech fabric to the body panels and electro-hydraulics attached to them can stretch it in different directions.

At the front of the car the traditional BMW twin headlights remain hidden until required, at which point the fabric is peeled open like a pair of eyelids. Rear lights are invisible under the fabric until lit. The familiar kidney grille can be altered to increase airflow, the side panels stretching apart and at the same time creating sharp creases along the front wings.

BMW has also done away with the traditional bonnet opening, instead replacing it with a horizontal split in the fabric that runs along the mid-line of the front panel and gapes open like a surgical incision.

The doors open outwards and upwards, the fabric along the leading edge wrinkling to accommodate the movement and then smoothing out once the doors are closed to cover the front panel gap. At speed the rear deck of the car can 'grow' stretching upwards beneath the fabric to increase downforce.

The interior also morphs, the seat and instruments motoring into position once the driver is in place. Although the technology is clearly not intended for production, fabric bodies could point the way to low-cost, low-energy manufacturing techniques while the shape presages the next generation Z4 roadster. Strangely, what it lacks is a roof.

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