As BMW, and every other car manufacturer, starts testing upcoming models, it must take pre-production cars out on the road. This can be tricky, because automakers don’t want to give away the looks of the upcoming car until they can show them off at an auto show, or a similar event. So what all automakers do is camouflage their vehicles.
Usually, this camouflage consists of some kind of black and white swirl wrap, which covers almost all of the vehicle. The idea is that the swirl patterns throw your eyes off of the body lines so you can’t make anything out or get hints as to what it might be.
Camouflage is all well and good but, most of the time, sharp-eyed photographers are able to make out certain aspects of the cars, which then get posted all over the internet and ruining the automaker’s surprise for later on. This can get very annoying and often times makes automakers release the production car earlier than anticipated. So BMW decided to do things a bit differently for very early production cars.
We’ve all seen the recent spy shots of the BMW M2 roaming around Germany, slightly covered in the aforementioned swirled camo. But for cars that BMW really doesn’t want to be seen, the engineers take a slightly different approach, as shown in this video.
In the video, BMW engineers are covering a BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo in fake body panels. First, they use 3D imaging to design body panels, that look vastly different to the 5er GT’s, that will mount right over the current ones. The panels are then created and the engineers simply drill them into place on top of the actual car. This creates an entirely different car, to the naked eye. It’s nearly impossible to discern that the finished product is in fact a 5 Series Gran Turismo. Actually, it’s close to impossible to tell if it’s a BMW or not. They even cover most of the interior with fake panels, like the dashboard and door panels, made out of foam. The only interior giveaway would be the famous BMW shift knob.
It’s very interesting to see them literally drill these fake panels into the actual body panels. When the whole car is done, it’s unrecognizable.
Check it out, maybe next time you see a frumpy looking black plastic car on the street, you’ll know it’s really a BMW underneath.