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I'm speechless.

I think we just saw the future of automaking. That's incredible!

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bye bye expensive front clam replacement worries.

only thing to fear is a punk with a knife!
 

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That is really cool. But I wonder how well the shape holds up at speed? I don't see how fabric that flexible will retain its shape and not ripple like crazy while cruising at 70mph.

Even if they aren't able to actually bring something like this to market, I hope they base the shape of the new Z4 on the GINA model.
 

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Wow.

That is pretty awesome.

Congrats to them for coming up with some innovative and thinking of a new way of doing things after 100+ years of the same old.
 

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I don't see what's so new about it.

Aside from the gimmick of using spandex and moving the tubes underneath it to change shape, it's the same way we made airplanes through the first half of the last century.

xtn
 

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^^^^ I can see what you're saying, and considering BMW's history (the roundel is actually a propeller afterall), I'm not entirely surprised, but that's really an understatement.

Imagine an Atom with clothes? :D

One more:
YouTube - BMW GINA Light Visionary Model: Premiere
 

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^^^^ I can see what you're saying, and considering BMW's history (the roundel is actually a propeller afterall), I'm not entirely surprised, but that's really an understatement.

Imagine an Atom with clothes? :D
I've imagined an Atom with clothes many times. One doesn't need to see BMW's concept to imagine any number of ways to skin the tube frame of an Atom.

In fact if I were to buy an atom I would wrap the frame with Poly-Fiber "Stits system." This is a heat-shrink vinyl fabric. I guestimated about $400 in materials adding roughly 16 lbs of weight including paint.

Of course one could also make an aluminum skin, or Plexiglas panels, etc. Those solutions may require drilling the tubes or welding on mounting tabs, and would likely be heavier. They would also allow a lot more air infiltration unless you did a whole lot more work to really design and seal the installation. Since the Atom is engineered without the use of a stressed skin for structural integrity, I don't see any reason to add the weight of such a solution, or weaken the structure with drilling/welding, which is why I think the aircraft fabric is the ideal solution. You essentially heat-shrink a sock completely around the cockpit area.

I'm always struck by the lack of imagination I see when somebody says something along the lines of, "The Atom would be my perfect dream car, but I just couldn't deal with the exposure/weather." I don't see the idea of skinning an Atom as an amazing spark of brilliance. It's the first thing I thought of and I don't see why anybody who has a reservation about the exposure/weather/etc wouldn't immediately think the same thing.

So anyway I think BMW's concept is creative in it's application, and very cool, but it certainly isn't some amazing new technology.

xtn
 

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That is really cool. But I wonder how well the shape holds up at speed? I don't see how fabric that flexible will retain its shape and not ripple like crazy while cruising at 70mph.
Uhh airplanes have used various fabrics at speeds much higher than 70mph without any problems for many decades.

This concept is so amazing. The dynamism of the design, the way the fabric affects both proportion and graphics of the body. I'm very impressed with Bangle and his team this time. Very beautiful work.
 

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Beautiful and innovative! What an awesome way to think.

As far as skinning an Atom, the problem is, most folks take what they are given and don't want to modify it to that degree...but I see your point xtn.
 

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It would be interesting to see if BMW will actually come out with this and not just stay in their archives...very nice though :drool:
 

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Uhh airplanes have used various fabrics at speeds much higher than 70mph without any problems for many decades.

This concept is so amazing. The dynamism of the design, the way the fabric affects both proportion and graphics of the body. I'm very impressed with Bangle and his team this time. Very beautiful work.
I know nothing about old airplane skins. :shrug: Are they as stretchy and flexible as the one being used on the car?
 

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I know nothing about old airplane skins. :shrug: Are they as stretchy and flexible as the one being used on the car?
Typically they were weatherproofed canvas stretched over a frame of wood (or later steel). There was a degree of flexibility, though I don't think they would be as flexible as the BMWs material. Early aircraft didn't have ailerons or flaps, they instead would 'warp' the shape of the wing to induce pitch and roll. So there was a little flexibility.

Cade
 

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I know nothing about old airplane skins. :shrug: Are they as stretchy and flexible as the one being used on the car?
No. The fabric used on the car appears to have many qualities in common with spandex or similar stretchy fabrics. I assume this is to accommodate the movement of the structure changing shape. The fabrics used on airplanes are not nearly that elastic, are typically glued over the supporting structure and then shrink-wrapped to a very taut condition more like a drum head. It's flexible like any fabric, but it's not elastic.

xtn
 

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Almost enough to make me forgive Bangle for what he did to the 5. Almost.
 

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