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Posted: June 12, 2008

BMW's (nanotechnology?) shape-shifting car

(Nanowerk News) It seems that reality is catching up with science fiction fast. On TV, the latest Knight Rider series features a car that embraces nanotechnology to change colors and morph into similar car forms temporarily.
Yesterday, BMW introduced it's "GINA Light Visionary Model".
BMW GINA Light Visionary Model
The car has a flexible outer skin, making some elements of the substructure moveable.
The GINA Light Visionary Model takes the sculptural design that has already been established by a number of production cars to a new, unparalleled conclusion. The car’s front and sides, including the doors, create one single uninterrupted, seamless whole that converges to form an optical as well as a structural unit.
The body consists of only four elements. The largest component extends from the front of the vehicle to the edge of the windscreen and down the sides to the rear edge of the doors. The large side panels start at the front where the rocker panels emerge and run across the rear wheel arches into the rear. The fourth component is the central rear deck element.
In their press release (download the full text here; pdf 100 KB) BMW writes:
The key to affecting the development of tomorrow’s mobility lies in our readiness to challenge what is established and in the ability to present new options. In order to meet these objectives, BMW Group Design taps into the potential of the GINA principle (Geometry and Functions In “N” Adaptions) which promotes innovative thinking by allowing maximum freedom of creativity. GINA produces dramatically different solutions that affect the design and functionality of future cars. The GINA Light Visionary Model is an optical expression of selective, future-oriented concepts which provide an example of the manner and extent of this transformation.
Take a look at what the folks at BMW Group Design have come up with:
It would be interesting to know if and what kind of nanotechnology materials and processes would be involved in building the car's flexible skin.
Source: BMW