06 January 2009

Changing Concepts of Car Design: BMW Gina Morphing Shape Automobile

Almost all modern automobiles have rigid metallic bodies covered with paint and clear coat. But what if your car's body could change its shape, depending upon the circumstances? The BMW Gina concept body is made of wire and fabric that can change its shape on the fly.
What I like most about the Gina is its ability to morph into different shapes as required. When the car's speed changes, the rear spoiler lip can raise or lower, without ugly flaps like those on various Porsches. Airplanes today have collections of articulated control surfaces, spoilers, ailerons, slats, and flaps, but NASA research into smoothly morphing forms has been going on for a long time and seems ripe for exploitation. so why not have that on cars? the "eyelids" on the Gina are simply wonderful; they blink open when the light source is activated and close when lamps aren't needed. Like our own eyelids. _Automobile_via_NextBigFuture
Another unusual approach to car bodies is the "inflatable car." An inflatable car might be designed to travel on water as well as on the highway -- a big plus.

New materials for automobiles may revolutionise the auto industry. New nano-materials in particular should allow a much lighter-weight automobile while improving strength and resistance to damage.

Video below comes courtesy of Brian Wang.
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