press release: the gina light visionary model has dispensed with the usual body elements found on production vehicles such as front apron, bonnet, side panels, doors, wheel arches, roof, trunk lid and rear deck. instead, a new structure with a minimum amount of components has taken their place. a special, highly durable and extremely expansion-resistant fabric material stretches across a metal structure. this new material offers designers a significantly higher level of freedom of design and functionality. . .the innovation of a flexible outer skin breaks new ground in automotive engineering. this revolutionary solution opens up new design, production and functionality potential. it has a major impact on the interaction between driver and car and enhances it by offering a variety of entirely new options. some elements of the substructure are moveable.
the fact that the body surface is designed by means of a flexible fabric cover that stretches across a metal substructure means that the materials used must meet exacting requirements. industrially produced hybrid fabric made from a stabilizing mesh netting support and an outer layer that is both water-repellent and resistant to high and low temperatures is suitable for this application. another essential material property is a maximum level of dimensional stability. it must remain dimensionally stable irrespective of the temperature and air humidity it is exposed to even after severe and constant expansion. . . the dimensional stability helps retain the cover’s surface tension for a long period of time. the movement of individual body elements creates accurately reproducible folds in the material. in its choice of material bmw group design was inspired by exterior and interior architecture. the expertise of seat pattern designers working for bmw group interior design was successfully applied in order to cut the fabric webbing to size with maximum precision, determine the strategic position of attachment points and stretch the material. as a result, the surfaces are remarkably well balanced and due to the steady tension that is retained between any two clearly defined points, the lines are extremely accurate. . . the special fabric is supported by a metal wire structure. at specific points, the high-strength metal is enhanced by carbon struts with a higher flexibility. they are used predominantly for round, moving contours with a particularly narrow radius. . . the use of large fabric areas and the possibility of changing the surface contours by moving individual parts of the metal mesh that lies beneath it create a new relationship between form and function.