It may look like the Batmobile, but rest assured we're not promoting the new movie. This is Gina (the 2008 BMW Gina Light Visionary Model, designed by the controversial Chris Bangle), a statement of where BMW might head in the future – a concept car with a big vision. It's made of a metallic fabric that flexes and bends into different shapes.
Gina stands for 'Geometry and Functions in “N” (or Infinite) Adaptations'. And what's interesting about Gina is that it really challenges our preconceptions about cars. Its creators ask, 'Does a car roof really have to rest on pillars and be bordered by windows? Do all functions have to be visible at all times, even when they are not needed? How many personalization options does my car offer? Are there any possible alternatives to the rigid body shell made of steel or plastic?'
Gina has a flexible textile cover (without visible seams) that stretches across a moveable substructure, so there's no visible front apron, bonnet, side panels, door, wheel arches or roof. It has individual functions which are only revealed if and when they are needed. For example, the headlights, when not needed, are hidden under the special fabric cover. When they are needed, the fabric opens and the headlights appear.
Whether Gina works or not is open to debate. Some have called it creepy, others ugly. Time will tell whether it takes off. RM
Images: BMW Group Design