BMW GINA: First Test Drive On Munich Track!
The BMW GINA Light Visionary Model that was seen via video being installed in the BMW Museum in Munich last week has finally been revealed, and the futuristic design study shows how BMW designers are thinking outside of the box when it comes to the materials that make up a car and also how the car relates to the driver. GINA stands for "Geometry and Functions in 'N' Adaptations", which basically means that designers from both BMW and BMW Group DesignworksUSA were allowed to throw out the rulebook. This is most evident in the GINA Light Visionary Model's outer skin, which is made entirely out of textile fabric that's pulled taut around a frame of metal and carbon fiber wires. The skeleton of the car is controlled by electro-hydraulic devices and can actually move and change shape beneath the fabric skin. For instance, the headlights of the concept can be exposed or hidden by the car's skin just like blinking eyes, and the hood opens from the center as the fabric parts to expose the engine. This idea extends to the interior, where BMW designers have made visible only those instruments that are required at a certain time, while the rest of the time the same fabric interior "blinks" them out of view. The car itself looks somewhat like a Z4 Roadster, though after viewing the extensive gallery of high-res images below, you'll be amazed how much the outer skin looks like normal sheetmetal. Until, that is, you see how the doors open. They lift up in a semi-scissor fashion and since there are no exposed hinges, the fabric artfully binds up as the door swings open. While the design of the GINA Light Visionary Model is very Bangle-esque with concave and convex surfaces intermingling everywhere you look, it looks appropriate and natural here. The car is very much a concept, meant more to inspire BMW's own designers and engineers rather than excite the public, but now we're excited about shape-changin, fabric-covered cars, anyway. The Concorso dEleganza 2009 took place at the Grand Hotel Villa dEste at Lake Como for the 80th time. This year the BMW Roadster deserved particular attention. Look at classic Roadsters like the BMW 328, 315-1, 319-1 and of course the current BMW Z4 Roadster. Furthermore the GINA Light Visionary Model attracted with its futuristic and visionary design.
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