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GINA by BMW

06.18.08   |   Posted in: Tech   |   By: Andrea Tumino
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Chris Bangle, head of design at BMW and his team are pushing the boundaries of appearance and materials as well as functions and the manufacturing process with GINA. Instead of the steel or aluminum bodies of traditional cars, this beauty has a body of seamless fabric stretched over a movable metal frame which the driver can change at will. Theoretically, you could do things such as adjust your bumper inward to maneuver through a tight space.

GINA (Geometry and functions In ‘N’ Adaptions) has been in development for six years. It’s designed on the Z8 chassis and has a 4.4-liter V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission. The fabric skin is made of polyurethane-coated Lycra which is resilient, durable and water resistant. This sexy skin is translucent, allowing the tail lights to shine through the back. In the front, the headlights are revealed in a way strikingly similar to a cat opening its eyes, giving the car a stunning anthropomorphic quality.

We love the fact that BMW has conceived a car with a fabric exterior, but it begs a few obvious questions. What happens when it gets hole in it? What happens when we scuff it with the heel of our shoe? How well does this hold up under the sun after several years? Our guess is it would still be cheaper to replace Lycra than an aluminum siding with paint. This is a concept car, so you’ll probably never actually see one of these anywhere outside of a car show. That said we appreciate any ideas that show innovative thinking in automotive design and there’s certainly some potential for parts of this concept to translate into production.

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There’s a ton of photos after the jump-



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