It’s hard to believe that BMW introduced the GINA Light Visionary Model 15 years ago, yet here we are. Typically, concepts are revealed, and you almost never see them ever again. That’s not the case here as the “Geometry and Functions In ‘N’ Adaptions” as it’s known by its full name is making a surprise return in a new walkaround video.
One would argue that GINA is even more visually striking than the i Vision Dee and the iX Flow that came after as while the newer concepts can change their colors, this one-off roadster can change its outer skin. BMW revisited the idea in 2016 with the Vision Next 100 and its expanding body but it’s the shape-shifting GINA Concept fans of the brand appreciate more.
Based on the gorgeous Z8 but with butterfly doors and no roof, GINA had been in development since 2001 but it wasn’t until 2008 when the striking concept was unveiled. It boasts an unusual flexible textile cover stretching across a moveable structure we can see in the adjacent video. Doing so enabled BMW to create a smooth surface by hiding the panel gaps, therefore making the body look like it’s one giant panel.
Even the headlights were tucked away under the polyurethane-coated Spandex that was not only elastic but also water-resistant and able to withstand high and low temperatures. The hood splits into two sections to reveal the V8 engine used by James Bond’s Z8, while the intricate assembly hiding underneath the fabric skin enables GINA to change its creases and even the size of the rear spoiler.
But how does it actually change its shape? The hidden frame has moving parts connected through an aluminum wire structure and powered by several hydraulic and electric actuators. Because the fabric is translucent, GINA’s taillights just shine through it. The whole body had just four elements, with the largest one stretching from the front to the edge of the windscreen before continuing down the sides to meet the rear edge of the doors.
Even after 15 years, the concept remains as eye-catching as ever as BMW managed to make the Z8 an even more head-turning sporty roadster. There were obviously no plans to put GINA into production, but who knows, with the rapid progress of technology, maybe one day it’ll be feasible.
Source: Supercar Blondie / YouTube