A BMW made of fabric? This shape-shifting concept car was the closest thing to human skin

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BMW GINA Light Visionary concept
BMW GINA Light Visionary concept
BMW Press

It featured a fabric body that allowed sections to stretch and change shape.

The model never reached production.

The seat assumes a functional position if and when the driver sits on it.

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Shape-shifting is more associated with science fiction movies and extraterrestrial beings, but BMW had their own version when it debuted the GINA Light Visionary concept car in 2008.

Following a similar shape to the Z8, the name GINA was not chosen at random but, according to the German automaker, stands for "Geometry and Functions in 'N' Adaptions".

The concept had the unique ability that allowed sections of the body like the bonnet, headlights and side panels to stretch and change shape courtesy of a special, highly durable and extremely expansion-resistant fabric material that stretches across the metal structure.

BMW GINA Light Visionary Model
BMW GINA Light Visionary Model

An extraordinary concept

One of the most significant innovations on the model is the eyelid-like headlights that the driver can expand or retract through electro and electro-hydraulic controls. Additionally, the chassis rests on 20-inch alloy wheels and features two double tailpipes for the exhaust system and a third brake light integrated into the height-adjustable rear spoiler.

READ | BMW's House of M Division: how it started and 'how's it going'?

BMW Gina Light Vsionary concept interior
BMW Gina Light Vsionary concept interior


Designers also paid great attention to detail on the interior, which could be accessed via scissor doors. When the car is parked, the steering wheel, rev counter, speedometer and fuel gauge go into an idle position and moves towards the driver when the engine start/stop button is pushed. Also, the seat assumes a functional position and shape when the driver sits on it.

Under its fabric-covered bonnet was a V8 engine - though no power figures and specifications were ever made known.

The concept can be found at the BMW museum in Munich.

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