BMW Uses Fabric Skin Again
In 2008 BMW revealed a concept vehicle that was unusual in that the body panels weren’t made from steel, aluminum or composites but, rather, a fabric that was fitted over an underlying metal frame. It is called the “GINA Light Visionary Model,” with the acronym standing for “Geometry and Functions In ‘N’ Adaptions.” While the fabric-surface automobile hasn’t made it, a visit to your local REI’s camping section will give you a good idea of what it was all about, as there is an array of tents that have bows under tension stretching various technical textiles into temporary habitation.
BMW Designworks has worked with The North Face, the company that provides all manner of technical and fashionable clothing and equipment, to develop a camper that one might put on the back of one’s X5 for a trip to Yosemite.
Like GINA, the FUTURELIGHT Camper uses a fabric that North Face has developed that is produced with “Nanospinning technology,” which results in what is claimed to be “the world’s most advanced, breathable, waterproof material.”
The Nanospinning process puts “nano-sized” holes in the material that allows the air to move through the material while preventing water from intruding.
The GINA has the struts beneath the fabric. The FUTURELIGHT puts them on the exterior.
While North Face will be offering products with the new material, the camper is still a concept, so don’t plan on seeing it in a catalog anytime soon.
But while it may not be there soon, the Designworks’ creation seems so appropriate that it may be there later.
DaimlerChrysler's decision to scrap the front- drive LH line and replace it with the rear-drive LX large car platform is very astute.
With a specialized vehicle like the Porsche Cayenne there’s a need for specialization in aspects of its production. Like the use of a specialist casting supplier to not only produce the aluminum-silicon alloy block, but to completely machine it as well. seat.
How carbon fiber is utilized is as different as the vehicles on which it is used. From full carbon tubs to partial panels to welded steel tube sandwich structures, the only limitation is imagination.