Jun 11 2008BMW Makes Morphable, Fabric-Covered Car

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Yesterday BMW unveiled their GINA Visionary Model, a fabric-covered vehicle that can change shapes with the push of a button.

Chris Bangle (head of design at BMW) and his team actually built GINA -- which stands for "Geometry and functions In 'N' Adaptions" -- six years ago, but BMW kept it under, er, wraps until Tuesday. It's built on the Z8 chassis and has a 4.4-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission. BMW says the fabric skin - polyurethane-coated Lycra - is resilient, durable and water resistant. It's stretched over an aluminum frame controlled by electric and hydraulic actuators that allow the owner to change the body shape. Want a big spoiler on the back? Wider fenders? No problem. "The drastic reinterpretation of familiar functionality and structure means that drivers have a completely new experience when they handle their car," BMW says.

Neat idea BMW, but what's up with the gaudy silver skin? You put all that effort into building a morphable, fabric-covered car and don't even use denim? You got no class.

A TON more MUST SEE pictures and a video, along with links to much longer articles, after the jump.

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BMW's fascinating GINA Light Visionary Model design study
[37signals]
and
BMW builds a Shape-Shifting Car Out of Cloth [wired]

Thanks Michael P, Meg, and Manivo, now lets head on down to the BMW Museum in Munich and joyride the hell out of that mother

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Reader Comments

omfg i want one.. o_o

So... do you just wash it in your driveway or get it drycleaned..?

come on #2 why a silly question like that? I mean it's obvious you just set in on the gentle cycle with color safe bleach, no need to have to get it dry cleaned. Geez some people.

Either way it's got some sexy body lines to it

what happens when some asshole cuts your car with knife?..you go get your sewing machine? or that gomes with the car?

@4, I don't think this fabric is easily cut if it's the stuff I'm thinking of.

Although, I wonder if it will shrink in the rain?

I'd tap that!

I like how the engineer talks down to the audience. I really needed the term "geometry" explained. I'm glad he cleared that one up. I thought it meant studying rocks and shit.

this made me think of car lover guy from a few posts back. i bet he'd really tap that too

Has the name "GINA" something to do with the shape of the opened hood?

Best comment on Wired goes to cartouche:

"After seeing the opening in the hood, I see how GINA must be pronounced."

Brilliant!

Can't wait until I have to dryclean the birdshit off my car....or scrub it with "Stain Guard" :(

What's with the Lycra? Aren't Germans supposed to cover everything in black rubber?

Can I refer everyone to the comment I made on yesterday's post about cars with airbags on the hoods:

"7. The Imaginary Reviewer - June 10, 2008 4:51 PM

Wouldn't it just be easier to make entire cars out of airbags?"

Nice to see BMW are listening to yours truly...

Yeah this is great . . . until you get hit by a 2 ton SUV and realize that driving a car made out of cloth and rubber bands is maybe not the safest thing to do . . .

I wonder if Tide would make a giant Tide To Go pen for it?

Momboelitist -

That material reminds me of the stuff supposedly found at the crash at Roswell.

Looks like the front of my underwear when I wake up in the morning.

@9

I'm surprised the Geekologie writer didn't make a reference to that. Before I even read the car's name I thought "wow, its like driving a giant gray vagina" but now that I see that thats what BMW was going for I wondering how far they took their concept. . . maybe the exhaust smells like fish.

awww, it's cute.

i would morph it into "hug mode" and those little penguin nub arms would hold me! haha

@jackcrash, strangely enough I was thinking the same thing when I saw this on Ohgizmo early this morning.

That guy who has sex with cars is going to shit himself over this.

After you rob a bank to pay for this car, the cops will never be able to find you!

I think it is unattractive.

maybe if it came in black the ugly fabric wrinkles wouldnt show so much

doors that open and close?!! What will they think of next?

you would think that after the fabric relaxes or stretches out that it would just flap in the wind when your driving.

What happens when a bunch of kids come up and slit.... the body of the car?

anyone else notice the arm shadow in the background in this one?
http://www.geekologie.com/2008/06/11/bmw-6.jpg

Im gonna go ahead and say the name Gina originally had a VA in front it being that when the hood opens up it definitely resembles one.

Ok... so... It was nice of him to define acronym for us.
Now can he go tell the marketing department how acronym's work...

Although i guess GFNA wouldn't really work because the hood looks nothing like a vagfna...

vaGina?

fabric is too easily damaged.

unless they come up with indestructible fabric for it.

#28, deebz,

Whoa, you're right! There ARE arm shadows in the background! I didn't even see those. You have a really good eye.

After I saw your comment, I went back and looked at the pictures closely. I found the arm shadow in picture 6, but I also found shadows in some of the other pictures. Here's a list of what I was able to see:

bmw-3) arm with torso
bmw-4) torso
bmw-5) arm with torso, hand (very faint)
bmw-6) arm with torso
bmw-7) arm with torso

I just wonder if these shadows were supposed to be in the pictures. I can't tell if they are accidental or were Photoshopped.

...and then some f***wit comes along and uses the sharp end of a key to gash the shit out of it. It'll never make production.

mine would be covered in acid-wash denim. so i can be extra rad.

No trunk? Where am I supposed to hide the bodies now? Then again, that stuff looks like it'd be pretty hard to clean, so I guess it's all good.

Ha! I guess for once it's a vagina AND a clown car!

comon guys, w/e it is definately an art called GINA. BMW got money for research so they are working on something and any concept is not for production. I really like the lights on the car may be we will see that kinda of light system in the cars comin ahead from bmw. WE use to have flip out lights backinthe days or some sort of hideaways. that is pretty impressive. Some people make their car look the same color, stealth, black on black where lights lens are also back so asthe rims. so it is just innovation through concepts. I mean i dont how strong that cloth is but since it got those ribs which can control how the cloth looks I think it will act better in a crash test. And let say so crash not at 100 miles an hour but at around 20 miles... at that point the damage will be what ... jsut replce the coth or put DENIM on it..lol.. it is a good chance that one day we get our cars tailored with our dress code.. lol

#32, perhaps the arms and torso reffer to a muscular system, which is my first impression of the car. A car with a biological structure.

Can I get it in black nylon and then morph into a sexy stocking clad leg, complete with fluffy slipper? I imagine I'd then be driving the tired equivalent of the lamp from "A Christmas Story".

But no wrinkles, please.

Well there are already plenty of cars out there that have soft tops and cutable doors like some jeeps. Probably wouldnt want to double park your new bmw in a bad neighborhood anyway.
As long as the metal underneath absorbs the crunch of a collision then the skin doesn't matter much.

Can I get mine in Valour or at least OLED cloth?

When it has the doors opened, it looks like one of those "flying" fish. I love the "eye" opening and closing for the lights but that Vagina shaped hood and the wrinkley opened doors is just ridiculous. I will like mine in rubber black to disguise the wrinkles. BTW, where is the top part of the car?

Idk, this seems not very functional. No wonder it belogs to a museum.

Well, all in all.. its pretty gay..... - -
but it's still neat.


other then the fact that it sucks ASS.

Next thing you know they're going to come out with another feature called DICK (Developing Internal Combustion Kompression) which will of course be able to "tap into" GINA's engine compartment to boost performance. Using the RUBR (Rapid Unleaded fuel BoosteR), which bears the familiar Ferrari horse logo and slips over DICK before inserting into GINA, will ensure complete driving pleasure and enjoyment for the owner of this BMW.

BTW, the denim model comes complete with air conditioning - they rip holes in the doors - and camel toe.

I AM SO GETING ONNE.I DONT CARE HOW MUCH IT IS

Uh, maybe I heard him wrong, but whoever said gina should be GFNA wasn't listening. Isn't the in GINA supposed to mean infinite?

@45.

He mentions in his acronym that N is for "infinite".

He says

"Gina is an acronym... a set of letters. That stand for Geometry (G), Function (F?), N is for a way of saying infinite number (whilst flailing arms about randomly) (N), Adaptations (A)."

GFNA... f$ck yeah

come on guys!!! this car has been made by BMW they wont b displaying the car with loop holes

dont u think d engineers would have thought about all d possible problems mentioned by u?????

Man, I know that this car or another model like this is going to be in a Bond film.

Anyone else see this as the beta version of the T-1000?

RUN!!!!

Does the car even have seatbelts? I'm sure they are hidden away there somewhere, but I couldn't see them.

IF it comes out & i wuz a million dollers richer i tould buy one

It makes me laugh how people talk about how someone could rip the fabric and that that's the reason it's not going to work. You do realise normal cars can be scratched right?..probaly easier than this car could be cut aswell. Overall the car looks cool tbh, kinda like a transformer with a suit on :P If it didn't have the wrinkles though it'd be better :D

That's a VERY impressive car and the concept really is interesting; reminds me vaguely of something I saw once while touring the House Of Tomorrow. A picture with the hood open and the roof up would have been nice too, but oh well.

Me, I can't help but wonder about the really practical questions, like how do you pop the hood to work on the rest of the engine? And with that many motorized parts, all the way down to opening the doors, if one of those motors goes wonky you know it'll cost a fortune to get that fixed. Anyone whose power windows have ever stopped working for no reason can attest to that. Watch body work and repairs be high enough to go broke on lol

After seeing the opening of the hood you could ad Va to the Gina

LMFAO this car is a joke. @ 100 mph the cloth will become a PARACHUTE! everywhere where wind hits it the cloth will dent and make pockets. Good idea, but man the hood was quite much. I know that somewhere in the BMW factory, some guy went "he-hey Frank, the hood looks like... Gina...va...Gina... OH SHIT!" *insert lightbulb here*

pretty pointless .
fabric will parachute at high speeds
probably highly susceptible to sharp objects.....
and the wrinkles look horrible on the doors
oh btw last time i checked bmw was a german company what`s english speaking guy doing there... oh ya designing stupid cars :(

not to mention it looks just like another ugly american car - solstice - did gm buy bmw??

on the positive side one can always blow buggers out of the nose right onto the car.

the design idea came from Hans` grandma`s slippers but after careful planning
end result looks somewhere between a sock and a retarded shark
this has gotta be the ugliest bmw to date

i bet 10 min drive @ high speeds will turn this car into swiss cheese because of all the flying gravel/insects etc

and where do you take it to do body work?? the tailor? oh dont forget to bring scissors when its time to fill up.

tip to all investors BMW = sell sell sell......

not to mention biodegradability - will all that fabric be recycled or just end up in landfill at least steel we can re - use.

design team`s on crack.

for all ppl that want one but cant afford it - not just buy a tent and a trailer - put one on top of the other
cut out a couple holes for doors and windows and nobody will be able to tell the difference from the real thing
human race is the only species that experiences a reverse evolution.
thankfully nibiru is near.

To all people commenting on the easily-damageable fabric and the potential for vandalism: a simple defensive measure should suffice.

I propose this: Install a proximity detector so the car knows when an intruder approaches. When an intruder is detected, have its headlights open, stay open for a while, then blink slowly several times. A hidden speaker will then ask, in a child's voice, "What's your name?" The intruder should have run away by that point.

is it eco-friendly?

the coolest parts are the engine and headlights. AWESOME, I WANT ONE TOO!

its just elastic stuff moving by metal stuff

I think it is genius in its purest form and i can already foresee the interior future safety features maybe not yet mentioned.

I heard of something coming out in the next 20 years called the skateboard. It's going to be a Hydrogen powered car that "natively" looks like a giant skateboard, but you can buy any body of your choice to attach to it and customize where the seats are. The motor and everything is in the floor! ITS KEWAL. :D

52. Sn0w

If you get a scratch on your car door do you take it to the repair shop and order a whole new door?


Yes the Car has its points...Breaking the normal in a sense of complexity, Like why did it take 90 years to change how we start cars?

could you leave it in the sun? would it shrink?

you know this is damn cool, i want one to, and im sure they would fix it so you could wash your car easyly ?, i hope..., anyway i want one but i want it where it can change its colors to..THAT WOULD BE SO DAMN F***ING COOL.

hah the hood looks like a vagina

@58
.....what if intruders aproach from the back??

wooooaaahhh...bmw this is amazing U r know catching up wiht legendery cars like mayback, mayback exelero and the mother of cars the undisputed s-class...actually i only like M5 in BMW range of cars but with the concept csc and this fabric mophable concept, i think i'll change my mind...

i'm not too sure about the ears it has poking over the roof, makes it look like a big silver puppy dog. but still the fabric used would look great in a choice of colours, that car in flouescent pink please lol

The N does not stand for infinite directly. N permutations is a mathematical term for infinite. He clearly states that. Maybe he went a little too far in defining geometry, but if you remembered anything about geometry, you should remember n. Seriously. Also, if half of the people up there cared to pay attention, they would know that safety was considered in the model. Anyway, it is intuitive. What gets most damaged in car crashes? The body. Because it is made to crumple in newer cars. That is why there is more internal damage. There is a frame to this car, which could have the same properties. Plus the repair on body damage would be quick and simple. And I am sure the fabric is tested for endurance. And to 57 specifically: cars bodies are not made out of steel anymore. Thinking it is ugly is one thing, but you need to think your argument through a little more. Unless you like sounding like an idiot on the internet.

The idea of this car is by far the most innervated and the greatest idea I have ever seen. If I were to see this car on the market I would get one, not only for its idea, but it would save soo much on fuel due to the fact that it has a cloth shell rather than plastic or metal. This will go well with my idea of a new fuel source that I am trying to come up with.

holly potatoes :P,
this car is awsome, i wonder how much the car will be going for in the future ?

64. Ride*N*Smile

I don't buy a whole new door, my point was it would be easier to repair... It's a respray of the panel that got scratched (quite a bit for a decent job) vs a little bit of new material :P

wtf, im prety sure the GINA stands for vaGINA, did u see the sus engine thing on the bonnet??
good idea but.

Supper car!
Supper design!
I love it!

i hate bmw but this one is the shit i would get one

DAME that car is the shit. Id drive the hell outa i!

Dear editors, referring to the publication of this article Bmw Gina, I wanted to inform you that the inventor and creator of external coatings for cars in any material, I am the owner since 2006 with the Patent No. 0000091380 granted by the Ministry of Productive Activities, therefore, also known as of the legal department of BMW, in fact they also my patent is this .... But they do not want to sit at the table of negotiation, and have ended any possibility of talks, so I'm starting a campaign to disclose quest' the which was also copied by Peugeot, who has exhibited in Paris 1007 covered with a cloth (see youtube Peugeot showroom), which, however, after my formal notice was promptly removed from the window ... are available to answer your questions and evidence of the above mentioned, I thank you if you help me in this, cordial greetings greetings.
Giuseppe Bianco
[email protected]

To all you guys saying that the fabric wouldn't stand up to high speeds, have you ever heard of aircraft fabric? There are many planes which are built EXACTLY like that, they make a steel frame, stretch fabric around it, then pour a hardening resin overtop. This may not have a resin, but if they can make resined fabric survivor 300+ miles/hour, they can definitely make regular stuff to survivor a freeway.

As for damage, the entire fabric body would probably cost about the same as fixing a car-length keying on a a regular car (fixing slight dent and re-painting). They also have fabrics out there that don't cut worth shit! I know a guy with kevlar pants (for industrial work), he can take a box-cutter and slice his leg without so much as a mark to show.

Fabric may look weak, but trust me, there are some amazing materials being made out there.

Auto/ Designer accuses BMW: they copied me. The Public Prosecutor’s office in Rome is investigating
28-02-2009 11:52
"The 'Gina' concept car covering was patent protected "
Rome, 28 Feb. (Apcom) - The 'Gina' BMW is a prize-winning concept car, but the idea of using a fabric covering for the bodywork is now said to have been copied from an Italian. This is the subject of the lawsuit initiated by fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco, owner of a number of young fashion labels, and filed with the Rome Public Prosecutor a few days ago. Public Prosecutor Marcello Monteleone is believed to be assessing the case presented by lawyer Carlo Cirillo, which contains allegations of counterfeiting under articles 473 and 474 of the penal code and under the provisions of the so-called ‘industrial property code’, as defined in the law of 10 February 2005, number 30, article 127.
Specifically, according to the lawsuit, Bianco designed an exclusive procedure in 2005 by which any covering material, from leather to fabric to more technical materials, could be applied to the external body of cars and other motor vehicles, "making the covering impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents". After registration of the patent, exhibition at the 2006 Bologna Motor show, and coverage on the Tg5 Italian TV channel, Bianco was confident, happy in the knowledge that he had invented something innovative. Then, in the middle of 2008 he discovered that BMW had presented a concept car with a fabric body: the Gina, acronym for 'Geometry and functions in 'n' adaptions'. So Bianco felt that there was nothing for it but to assert his rights.
The battle between this small inventor from Italy and the German colossus began last August, when lawyer Carlo Cirillo informed the legal offices of BMW that his client was the "owner of the rights following the filing of a formal application to register the patent for a fabric covering for motor vehicles" and warning the German company to "cease any activity in conflict with this". After further contacts between lawyer Carlo Cirillo and the legal consultants from BMW’s patents office, and despite all the documentation presented in support of Bianco’s case, the Gina was exhibited at the museum in Munich and from 11 to 15 February of last year at the Salon Concept Car Hotel National des Invalides Plauce Vebaun, in Paris.
As reported in the newspapers, at that event in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the Gina won the award of 'Grand prix du plus beau concept car de l'annèe 2008'. But Bianco was not willing to let matters lie. He made a video with his accusations and posted it on Youtube. The process involved in this work on the car and the application of the materials, as shown on the carbodydesign website, source BMW press office, is exactly the same as the one he designed. In his lawsuit, the designer also refers to a visit by a BMW manager to his stand at the Motorshow. Lawyers Carlo Cirillo and Pamela Baglivo, who presented his case with the collaboration of lawyer Micol Cupo Pagano, explain: "Our client hopes that this will throw light on the matter.”
Lawyer Carlo Cirillo adds: "It is clear that if the judicial authorities recognize this as a violation of Mr. Bianco’s patent rights, we are looking at damage on a huge scale, taking into consideration the enormous publicity potential of the internet coverage used in handling this issue. So I hope that this will bring protection to the offended party, the small businessman, against a multinational company with great economic resources.”

Designer in battle against BMW for “Gina”

COVERING SYSTEM CONTESTED: CASE FILED AGAINST THE GERMAN CARMAKERS AT THE ROME PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE.

Source: Corriere della Sera 01/03/2009 - Michele Manno

Rome
It is certainly a strange case that has ended up on the desk of the Public Prosecutor in Rome.
You could almost say that the two contestants are the present situation and the future.
The present situation is represented by designer Giuseppe Bianco; the future by the well-known BMW car manufacturers.
Why future? Because BMW recently won an award in Paris for the most beautiful “Concept Car of 2008”.
The car has an unusual name: ”Gina”. And we know for a fact that, like Gina Lollobrigida and all other women, Gina loves elegant clothes. So much so that she has been called the “Light visionary model”.
She is a car that we will never actually see on the road, like all “concept cars” which, by definition, propose new ideas destined to take shape on the roads of everyday life some time in the near future. The idea is in the composition of the car body, consisting principally of an elasticized fabric stretched over the frame which can be modified at the touch of a button, depending on the driver’s tastes. So it is a fabric to suit all occasions, from a simple meal in a pizzeria to a Gala evening in Monte Carlo. It is a kind of travelling haute couture wardrobe.
But this is where the present, with its laws and regulations, impacts on “Gina’s” destiny. Fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco has initiated a case against BMW, alleging counterfeit and the violation of the industrial property law, claiming that it was he who, in 2005, invented the exclusive procedure by which it is possible to apply any type of covering (leather, fabric and technical materials) to the body of a car or motorbike, thus making “the coverings themselves impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents”. Before turning to the justice system, in this case public prosecutor Marcello Monteleone, Giuseppe Bianco’s lawyers warned BMW not to continue any activities connected with the use of this process. But the car was still presented.
Whatever the truth of the matter – and legal battles over patents are usually complex – perhaps one day we will hear the verdict. It is up to the judiciary to decide who is right and who is wrong: but for once the case does not concern murder, disputes or violence, but the future of a car; and the prosecution and defence have to make a decision about “Gina”.

it'd look better without the edges and contours...just make it smooth and curvy like an alien craft

bmw is naice

I doubt whether the laundrette would be able to cope.

man that car is cool but will the creator of transformers get any credit

I really appreciate your help.Thank you very much!

I really appreciate your help, it is very useful for me,you will get good grades!
You will be successful.

This is great! Really. I'll make my own little contribution to the list soon

Nice post!
Very informative blog. I learn a lot of knowledge and I look forward to future post.
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Nice post!
Very informative blog. I learn a lot of knowledge and I look forward to future post.
If you would like to become a distributor of EcoPure within your territory, visit Green packaging.

Nice post!
Very informative blog. I learn a lot of knowledge and I look forward to future post.
If you would like to become a distributor of EcoPure within your territory, visit Green packaging.

really great BMW...

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