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BMW Gina concept news - His dark materials - 2008
When a shape-shifting concept car made of
neoprene turns up, you can be near-certain that flame-surfaced BMW design
fuhrer Chris Bangle won’t be far away.
At least, we think it’s neoprene. Some
sort of stretchable textile fabric, anyhow. And it’s not exactly a concept in
the conventional sense, but… hang on, let’s start at the beginning.
This is the BMW Gina. Ostensibly a
two-seater roadster, it’s actually more of a philosophical statement that has
informed BMW’s current production line-up and will influence future vehicles.
Built on the short-lived Z8 Roadster
platform, the Gina consists of a flexible ‘skin’ stretched over a metal wire
structure enforced with carbon fibre. It allows the driver to change the shape
of the car ‘on the fly’ - the rear spoiler can be raised, for example, while
the rocker panels can effectively be bodykitted out.
It’s a similar story on the inside, where
the steering wheel and instrumentation sit within the centre console and slide
into position when the driver pushes the start button.
Bangle says that, in a decade’s time or
so, such flexibility could reach production vehicles, allowing buyers to create
their car around their own requirement. Nice idea, but you really wouldn’t want
it to get keyed, would you?
However, there’s no suggestion that the
Gina will lead directly to a production car in the short term. Instead, Bangle
says that its principles have influenced the infamous ‘flame-surfaced’ styling
of BMW’s current crop… and will continue to do so.
Expect to see unusual-looking Beemers for
a few years to come, then.
Watch the BMW Gina video on YouTube: