BMW’s Cloth-Skinned Car Makes a Splash

July 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

BMW’s Cloth-Skinned Car Makes a Splash
Written by Hank Green
Thursday, 17 July 2008

BMW’s cloth car known by its concept name GINA is an amazing piece of design. The GINA philosophy is Geometry and Functions In “N” Adaptions; the “N” stands for infinite possibilities. I admit, I got so bedazzled by the video of the cloth car (after the jump), it took me a second to step back and think about why GINA is worth mentioning on ecogeek. The GINA model features a virtually seamless outer skin made of a textile fabric that stretches across a movable substructure. Functions are only offered if and when they are actually required. While BMW touts that reducing the car to its “essentials and adapting it to the driver’s requirements enhances the car’s emotional impact,” the reality is that the cloth car at its most basic is reducing the hard structure of the car to only what is necessary.

This brings into question all the current realities of what is set in stone in today’s car market. For example, does a car roof really need to rest on pillars and be bordered by pillars and are there any possible alternatives to the rigid body shell of steel or plastic?

By re-evaluating the hard body of the car, BMW figures that the lightweight design will require far less energy to produce than traditional BMW models. The overall car weight is significantly reduced, which in turns makes the vehicle far more fuel efficient.

A car of cloth is far off into the future, but BMW hopes that the philosophy behind its concept: of exploring new possibilities and focusing on actual function rather than relying on the tried-and-true model, that eventually cars can be made to suit individuals.

In an interview with Wallpaper magazine, Chris Bangle, head of design for BMW says GINA forces BMW designers to look at things differently.

“If we free our minds, then we can perhaps start to look at methods that use less energy, require less chemicals, cause less waste and are more flexible in getting products that customers want,” he says.

Via: Inhabitat and Wallpaper.com and

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