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BMW GINA Shape-Shifting Car Concept

BMW GINA

By Evan Ackerman

Tired of the way your car looks? Yeah, me too. Twenty five year old Volvo station wagons tend to have some pretty harsh lines. BMW has tackled this very problem (or some problem, anyway) with a concept car named GINA that can change its shape on command. GINA is a fairly strained acronym of “Geometry and Function In N Adaptations (maybe it works better in ze German), and the way the car adapts its geometry to various functions is quite unique. Instead of having a conventional body, GINA is completely covered with a resilient yet stretchy fabric. When motorized metal framing underneath the fabric moves, the fabric changes its shape and consequently the look and function of the car. Sweet video of GINA in action, after the jump.

Although the concept is completely functional (yep, there’s a working engine under there), the only place you’ll be able to see GINA is at the BMW Museum, in Munich.

VIA [ Wired ]








  • Chris

    Love those headlights.

  • http://www.gardenview.com Pete

    Did REI help them design this?

  • Athios

    Ohhhh, ‘JEE-na’…
    Before I started reading about the origins of the name, I thought it was called GINA because of the big vagina-shaped hole on the hood in the picture. : D

    (whoops, I should say vulva-shaped instead)

  • marc

    Auto/ DESIGNER ACCUSES BMW: THEY COPIED ME. THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE IN ROME IS INVESTIGATING

    28-02-2009 11:52

    “The 'Gina' concept car covering was patent protected “
    Rome, 28 Feb. (Apcom) – The 'Gina' BMW is a prize-winning concept car, but the idea of using a fabric covering for the bodywork is now said to have been copied from an Italian. This is the subject of the lawsuit initiated by fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco, owner of a number of young fashion labels, and filed with the Rome Public Prosecutor a few days ago. Public Prosecutor Marcello Monteleone is believed to be assessing the case presented by lawyer Carlo Cirillo, which contains allegations of counterfeiting under articles 473 and 474 of the penal code and under the provisions of the so-called ‘industrial property code’, as defined in the law of 10 February 2005, number 30, article 127. Specifically, according to the lawsuit, Bianco designed an exclusive procedure in 2005 by which any covering material, from leather to fabric to more technical materials, could be applied to the external body of cars and other motor vehicles, “making the covering impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents”. After registration of the patent, exhibition at the 2006 Bologna Motor show, and coverage on the Tg5 Italian TV channel, Bianco was confident, happy in the knowledge that he had invented something innovative. Then, in the middle of 2008 he discovered that BMW had presented a concept car with a fabric body: the Gina, acronym for 'Geometry and functions in 'n' adaptions'. So Bianco felt that there was nothing for it but to assert his rights. The battle between this small inventor from Italy and the German colossus began last August, when lawyer Carlo Cirillo informed the legal offices of BMW that his client was the “owner of the rights following the filing of a formal application to register the patent for a fabric covering for motor vehicles” and warning the German company to “cease any activity in conflict with this”. After further contacts between lawyer Carlo Cirillo and the legal consultants from BMW’s patents office, and despite all the documentation presented in support of Bianco’s case, the Gina was exhibited at the museum in Munich and from 11 to 15 February of last year at the Salon Concept Car Hotel National des Invalides Plauce Vebaun, in Paris. As reported in the newspapers, at that event in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the Gina won the award of 'Grand prix du plus beau concept car de l'annèe 2008'. But Bianco was not willing to let matters lie. He made a video with his accusations and posted it on Youtube. The process involved in this work on the car and the application of the materials, as shown on the carbodydesign website, source BMW press office, is exactly the same as the one he designed. In his lawsuit, the designer also refers to a visit by a BMW manager to his stand at the Motorshow. Lawyers Carlo Cirillo and Pamela Baglivo, who presented his case with the collaboration of lawyer Micol Cupo Pagano, explain: “Our client hopes that this will throw light on the matter.” Lawyer Carlo Cirillo adds: “It is clear that if the judicial authorities recognize this as a violation of Mr. Bianco’s patent rights, we are looking at damage on a huge scale, taking into consideration the enormous publicity potential of the internet coverage used in handling this issue. So I hope that this will bring protection to the offended party, the small businessman, against a multinational company with great economic resources.”

  • marc

    Designer in battle against BMW for “Gina”

    COVERING SYSTEM CONTESTED: CASE FILED AGAINST THE GERMAN CARMAKERS AT THE ROME PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE.

    Source: Corriere della Sera 01/03/2009 – Michele Manno

    Rome
    It is certainly a strange case that has ended up on the desk of the Public Prosecutor in Rome.
    You could almost say that the two contestants are the present situation and the future.
    The present situation is represented by designer Giuseppe Bianco; the future by the well-known BMW car manufacturers.
    Why future? Because BMW recently won an award in Paris for the most beautiful “Concept Car of 2008”.
    The car has an unusual name: ”Gina”. And we know for a fact that, like Gina Lollobrigida and all other women, Gina loves elegant clothes. So much so that she has been called the “Light visionary model”.
    She is a car that we will never actually see on the road, like all “concept cars” which, by definition, propose new ideas destined to take shape on the roads of everyday life some time in the near future. The idea is in the composition of the car body, consisting principally of an elasticized fabric stretched over the frame which can be modified at the touch of a button, depending on the driver’s tastes. So it is a fabric to suit all occasions, from a simple meal in a pizzeria to a Gala evening in Monte Carlo. It is a kind of travelling haute couture wardrobe.
    But this is where the present, with its laws and regulations, impacts on “Gina’s” destiny. Fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco has initiated a case against BMW, alleging counterfeit and the violation of the industrial property law, claiming that it was he who, in 2005, invented the exclusive procedure by which it is possible to apply any type of covering (leather, fabric and technical materials) to the body of a car or motorbike, thus making “the coverings themselves impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents”. Before turning to the justice system, in this case public prosecutor Marcello Monteleone, Giuseppe Bianco’s lawyers warned BMW not to continue any activities connected with the use of this process. But the car was still presented.
    Whatever the truth of the matter – and legal battles over patents are usually complex – perhaps one day we will hear the verdict. It is up to the judiciary to decide who is right and who is wrong: but for once the case does not concern murder, disputes or violence, but the future of a car; and the prosecution and defence have to make a decision about “Gina”.

  • marc

    Auto/ DESIGNER ACCUSES BMW: THEY COPIED ME. THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE IN ROME IS INVESTIGATING

    28-02-2009 11:52

    “The 'Gina' concept car covering was patent protected “
    Rome, 28 Feb. (Apcom) – The 'Gina' BMW is a prize-winning concept car, but the idea of using a fabric covering for the bodywork is now said to have been copied from an Italian. This is the subject of the lawsuit initiated by fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco, owner of a number of young fashion labels, and filed with the Rome Public Prosecutor a few days ago. Public Prosecutor Marcello Monteleone is believed to be assessing the case presented by lawyer Carlo Cirillo, which contains allegations of counterfeiting under articles 473 and 474 of the penal code and under the provisions of the so-called ‘industrial property code’, as defined in the law of 10 February 2005, number 30, article 127. Specifically, according to the lawsuit, Bianco designed an exclusive procedure in 2005 by which any covering material, from leather to fabric to more technical materials, could be applied to the external body of cars and other motor vehicles, “making the covering impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents”. After registration of the patent, exhibition at the 2006 Bologna Motor show, and coverage on the Tg5 Italian TV channel, Bianco was confident, happy in the knowledge that he had invented something innovative. Then, in the middle of 2008 he discovered that BMW had presented a concept car with a fabric body: the Gina, acronym for 'Geometry and functions in 'n' adaptions'. So Bianco felt that there was nothing for it but to assert his rights. The battle between this small inventor from Italy and the German colossus began last August, when lawyer Carlo Cirillo informed the legal offices of BMW that his client was the “owner of the rights following the filing of a formal application to register the patent for a fabric covering for motor vehicles” and warning the German company to “cease any activity in conflict with this”. After further contacts between lawyer Carlo Cirillo and the legal consultants from BMW’s patents office, and despite all the documentation presented in support of Bianco’s case, the Gina was exhibited at the museum in Munich and from 11 to 15 February of last year at the Salon Concept Car Hotel National des Invalides Plauce Vebaun, in Paris. As reported in the newspapers, at that event in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the Gina won the award of 'Grand prix du plus beau concept car de l'annèe 2008'. But Bianco was not willing to let matters lie. He made a video with his accusations and posted it on Youtube. The process involved in this work on the car and the application of the materials, as shown on the carbodydesign website, source BMW press office, is exactly the same as the one he designed. In his lawsuit, the designer also refers to a visit by a BMW manager to his stand at the Motorshow. Lawyers Carlo Cirillo and Pamela Baglivo, who presented his case with the collaboration of lawyer Micol Cupo Pagano, explain: “Our client hopes that this will throw light on the matter.” Lawyer Carlo Cirillo adds: “It is clear that if the judicial authorities recognize this as a violation of Mr. Bianco’s patent rights, we are looking at damage on a huge scale, taking into consideration the enormous publicity potential of the internet coverage used in handling this issue. So I hope that this will bring protection to the offended party, the small businessman, against a multinational company with great economic resources.”

  • marc

    Designer in battle against BMW for “Gina”

    COVERING SYSTEM CONTESTED: CASE FILED AGAINST THE GERMAN CARMAKERS AT THE ROME PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE.

    Source: Corriere della Sera 01/03/2009 – Michele Manno

    Rome
    It is certainly a strange case that has ended up on the desk of the Public Prosecutor in Rome.
    You could almost say that the two contestants are the present situation and the future.
    The present situation is represented by designer Giuseppe Bianco; the future by the well-known BMW car manufacturers.
    Why future? Because BMW recently won an award in Paris for the most beautiful “Concept Car of 2008”.
    The car has an unusual name: ”Gina”. And we know for a fact that, like Gina Lollobrigida and all other women, Gina loves elegant clothes. So much so that she has been called the “Light visionary model”.
    She is a car that we will never actually see on the road, like all “concept cars” which, by definition, propose new ideas destined to take shape on the roads of everyday life some time in the near future. The idea is in the composition of the car body, consisting principally of an elasticized fabric stretched over the frame which can be modified at the touch of a button, depending on the driver’s tastes. So it is a fabric to suit all occasions, from a simple meal in a pizzeria to a Gala evening in Monte Carlo. It is a kind of travelling haute couture wardrobe.
    But this is where the present, with its laws and regulations, impacts on “Gina’s” destiny. Fashion designer Giuseppe Bianco has initiated a case against BMW, alleging counterfeit and the violation of the industrial property law, claiming that it was he who, in 2005, invented the exclusive procedure by which it is possible to apply any type of covering (leather, fabric and technical materials) to the body of a car or motorbike, thus making “the coverings themselves impermeable and resistant to atmospheric agents”. Before turning to the justice system, in this case public prosecutor Marcello Monteleone, Giuseppe Bianco’s lawyers warned BMW not to continue any activities connected with the use of this process. But the car was still presented.
    Whatever the truth of the matter – and legal battles over patents are usually complex – perhaps one day we will hear the verdict. It is up to the judiciary to decide who is right and who is wrong: but for once the case does not concern murder, disputes or violence, but the future of a car; and the prosecution and defence have to make a decision about “Gina”.