The BMW GINA Light Visionary Model is a concept car made of fabric, a feature that makes it genuinely cutting-edge.

The BMW GINA Light Visionary Model might look like the Batmobile but with its web of mesh cover it is more Spiderman sports car. We take a look at this groundbreaking design.


The most important thing to note about the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model is that it is made of fabric, a feature that makes it genuinely cutting-edge.

All too often a concept car is little more than a marketing exercise disguised as pioneering design. By beefing up the form of a forthcoming model, a car manufacturer can begin the PR machine for a new design and gauge public opinion by effectively employing a mass focus group. Stunning as these cars often are, rarely do they break with convention.

Recognizing this fact, BMW do not refer to their latest design as a concept car. For this non-production car is based on the GINA principle: Geometry and Functions In ('N') Adaptations, which, they say, promotes innovative thinking by allowing maximum freedom of creativity. With the aim of challenging previously pursued solutions in car design, this month the BMW Group Design team revealed the groundbreaking GINA Light Visionary Model.

A two-seater roadster with a seemingly sculpted body, the GINA references some of the great cars of yesteryear with its steeply inclined windscreen. Yet there are three elements that mark the GINA as truly forward-thinking and make it worthy of a superhero owner: that fabric cover, a structural form that changes shape, and an intelligent interior.

A Car Made of Fabric

Perhaps the most pioneering aspect of the GINA Light Visionary Model is its fabric cover. Consisting of an industrially produced hybrid textile that is made up of mesh netting, the material stretches across an aluminum wire substructure to create a seamless whole. Thus, some parts that are ordinarily found in car design, such as the wheel arches and the front panel, do not exist in this new design. Another effect is the apparent absence of lights, which are part of the substructure and are only revealed when light shines through the translucent fabric cover, which is permeable to light but not transparent.

Structure in Flux

The wire substructure of the GINA Light Visionary Model is designed to move, stretching the fabric cover and therefore changing the shape of the car. This feature is used to reveal individual functions only when they are needed. For example, when the headlights are switched off they cannot be seen. But when they are switched on, the contour of the front-end changes and the fabric cover stretches to reveal the lights to the left and right of the kidney grille. A side effect is the emergence of an additional character line on the engine cover, which gives the car a more aggressive stance. Similarly, the lines of the side rocker panels can be adapted to optimize the aerodynamics of the car.


The interior of the GINA Light Visionary Model was conceived with the driver in mind. For maximum space upon entering the car, the seat and steering wheel automatically recline. Once sat in the driver's seat, the headrest automatically rises and the steering wheel and instrument panels move forward to a pre-programmed position of optimal comfort. Quite literally, the interior is seamlessly integrated into the exterior; the special fabric cover stretches over the metal substructure and extends from the back of the car into the interior and over the seats.

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