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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

bmw's gina, a shape-shifting car made from fabric

BMW is and has been for years my favorite auto company. Yeah, I know they don't get great gas mileage, cost an unreasonable amount of money and time to maintain, and don't run off tomatoes, but I'm a sucker for German design. Even with that bias, I'd say they've outdone themselves by building a shape-shifting car out of what appears to be the material used for those awkward looking American Apparel leggings. Or maybe that cape Christian Bale had in Batman Begins.

It's obviously only a concept and everyone knows that means nothing when it comes to actual production; the real point, however, is innovation, and BMW really took it to a new level of creativity with this design. According to the WIRED article on BMW's GINA (the name of the concept):
"Instead of steel, aluminum or even carbon fiber, the GINA Light Visionary Model has a body of seamless fabric stretched over a movable metal frame that allows the driver to change its shape at will. The car -- which actually runs and drives -- is a styling design headed straight for the BMW Museum in Munich and so it will never see production, but building a practical car wasn't the point."
It's hard to predict how this technology would ever be used effectively, but innovation is innovation and I'm glad I can leave it up to BMW to figure that out. You can also watch a short video clip about the car here.

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