Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s the new BMW. Not exactly known for really pushing out the boat and making crazy new models or variations on the theme, BMW nonetheless make cars with pretty damn good reputations – and in the case of a significant number of their vehicles, excellent performance to boot. However, the Gina eschews the usual BMW storyline and is a concept worthy of the more exotic manufacturers out there. Why is that? Well, the body is fabric.
Fabric? Yes, you read that right. The GINA Light Visionary Model is a two seat roadster that has a textile cover resistant to water and extremes of temperature. This fabric ‘overcoat’ is pulled across a moveable metal framework for a lovely outer shell. The lightweight aluminium spaceframe underneath has only four body sections – this minimises roll and provides stability.
Perhaps the most astounding part (the crazy looks aside) must be the ability of that aforementioned spaceframe to move. Electro-hydraulics allow the car to shift into place for greater downforce and concealment of various elements until desired. One such example of this would be the lights, as they remain under the fabric until lit, before it is peeled away to reveal them.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning concepts we’ve seen in a long time. Whether it actually tells us about the future of motoring however is another thing. There’s no doubt that one way to increase the level of fuel efficiency is to lower the weight of a vehicle – however I’m convinced we’re not going to be driving around in fabric cars in the future (there’s safety concerns for starters, but this is a concept after all).
However, as you can see from the picture, it does tell us something. That something is revealing the nature of the next BMW Z4. There are some obvious similarities between this in side profile and the current model. It looks like one attractive car indeed. Mark my words – you’ll be rubber-necking when it hits the road, though I’m sure the finished model will have a roof.
Regarding looks, to me it comes across more ‘shark like’ in appearance than just about any other BMW model ever produced. That nose is incredibly aggressive – I really hope that it makes production. I’m sure those raised-and-extended doors will go amiss too, which is a shame. Nonetheless, all of the design cues make me curious as to what the finished article will look like.