GINA Light Visionary - Flexible bodywork anyone?
The BMW GINA changes the design rulebook concept which features clever
use of materials and technology. The GINA acronym stands for 'Geometry
In "N" Adaptions'. The 'N' stands for infinite. Quite logical
While at first glance the BMW GINA appears to be nothing more than
a modified and stretched BMW
Z4. As soon as the doors are opened it reveals its true nature.
Covering the lightweight spaceframe of the BMW GINA are not conventional
metal bodypanels, but instead an elastic, rubber-like material is
stretched across the structural members and wire frame to form an
attractive design which follows BMW's flame surfacing styling philosophy.
This elastic material has given BMW's designers more options when
designing various moving parts of the GINA concept. The doors for
example have no shut line along their front edge as the material just
moves with the door. At the rear the electro-hydraulic adjustable
spoiler rises and lowers under the skin of the roadster to increase
and decrease downforce, all without interupting the flowing lines
of the vehicle. And at the front of the GINA concept the headlights
hide behind the body when not in use, when turned on the skin opens
up to reveal the headlight - in a manner eerily like a human eye.
The elastic material also plays a part in revealing the front-mounted
engine, where a central slit divides the bonnet in two. This slit
can be opened and closed. When open it looks disturbingly like a surgeons
Inside the BMW GINA concept the material has been employed in both
the dash and the seats. In the dash it is used to tilt the central
gauges toward the driver when the engine is started. While in the
seats it is used to raise the head restraints to follow the contours
of the human body.
Further helping to keep the lines of the GINA concept clean and uncluttered
are the taillights which are hidden under the skin of the roadster.
Completley invisible when off, they shine through the material when
While such extensive use of elastic material will be difficult to
translate into a practical production vehicle. Its use for some elements
of vehicle design could well become more common in future thanks to
its lightweight and highly flexible design properties.
|Engine / Drivetrain