BMW isn’t the shyest of companies when it comes to producing thought-provoking and evocative concept cars – and the GINA certainly adheres to this ideology. Designed by then chief of design, Chris Bangle, the GINA represents as visual cue for BMW’s designers to take inspiration from for future designs, concepts and production models.
It’s a hard concept to grasp, after all, the GINA does have one rather unique quality to it – it’s made from fabric. Its flexible textile outer skin is remarkable, astonishing, weird, slightly pointless and awe-inspiring all-in-one, and while it may not be the next ‘carbon-fibre’ it is definitely a talking point.
The GINA sits on the same platform as the old Z8 Roadster – which failed in epic style – and has a true two-seater layout. More weirdness comes when you discover that the GINA’s flexible skin allows the driver to change the car’s shape ‘on-the-fly’. This really is a car that could have only come from the Germans.
According to Bangle, the GINA’s ‘metalwork’ – even though it isn’t metal, at all – could be seen on production models in a decade’s time. Can you imagine it catching on? It would be a bit unfortunate if your £32,000 BMW got keyed, for example, and you had to re-stich it back together.
Thankfully, BMW did keep some design traditions with the kidney grill at the front, which makes sure you and your neighbours know this is an expensive BMW and that life has worked out great for you. Inside, the fabrics continue; the steering wheel sits happily within the centre console until you press the start button – which is probably made from cheese – and then moves into the required position.
So, what about power? Well, because the GINA shares the same platform as the now long gone Z8, it also has the same V8 power plant. Which, when you think about it, is probably enough to make it pretty fast – after all, it can’t weigh more than a toaster, surely?
The GINA’s aggressive styling is typical BMW, and if you were into cheesy clichés, you could say it is “dressed to impress”. Whatever it is made out of, the GINA is extremely unlikely to ever hit production, and will sit inside BMW’s vault as one of its most creative and odd creations.
There you have it. The GINA is as insane as concepts come, and with Bangle now out of the picture at BMW, will we ever see such a brave design from BMW’s designers? The GINA may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it does show that there could be a future for cars made from different textiles other than steel and carbon-fibre.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Is A Super Sedan With 617 HP
It can hit 60 mph in a supercar-like three seconds flat.
The BMW 8 Series family has welcomed its final two members, the M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition.
Despite offering nearly eight inches of additional rear shoulder room and more than seven inches of rear legroom, the two extra doors and stretched body make the M8 Gran Coupe just 185 pounds heavier than its two-door counterpart.
Power comes from the lineup’s familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbo S63 V8, tuned to produce 600 horsepower for the standard edition and 617 ponies for the Competition trim. Torque is rated at 553 pound-feet regardless of variant.
The V8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing the BMW M8 Gran Coupe to reach 60 mph (96 km/h) from a standstill in 3.1 seconds, while the M8 Gran Coupe Competition matches the M8 coupe’s 3.0 seconds.
Top speed is electronically-limited at 155 mph (249 km/h) but can be increased to 190 mph (306 km/h) with the M Driver’s Package.
BMW has also announced the M8 Gran Coupe First Edition, a special build based on the Competition variant that pairs Individual Green Metallic paint and Goldbronze wheels and accents inspired by the M8 Gran Coupe concept vehicle.
It also gets unique 20-inch Forged M Star-Spoke wheels, while the interior features Ivory White/Tartufo Full Merino leather and a “First Edition 1/400” on the center console door.
Only 50 examples of the M8 Gran Coupe First Edition will be shipped to the U.S.
U.S. pricing for the 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe starts at $130,995 and at $143,995 for the M8 Gran Coupe Competition, both including destination fees.
BMW Concept 4 Previews A Massive-Grille 4 Series
Its huge grille supposedly “embodies the aesthetic essence” of the BMW brand.
BMW used the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show to debut the BMW Concept 4, previewing the “new face” of the 4 Series.
The first thing that will catch your eye is its massive twin-kidney grille, which the German automaker describes as a “confident and classy” new take on the brand’s iconic grille. Look closer and you’ll notice that it is made of several small “number 4s” joined together.
“The kidney grille has always been a signature feature of BMW cars,” BMW design head Domagoj Dukec stated. “The BMW Concept 4 presents a confident and classy take on this iconic feature. At the same time, the BMW Concept 4 offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range.”
The design is said to be inspired by the 3.0 CSi, though the 1970s car had a much smaller grille than any modern BMW. Do you like it?
Massive grille aside, the BMW Concept 4 borrows many styling cues from the 3 Series and 8 Series and features classic sports car proportions. We’ll have to wait and see how all of this translates to the production 4 series.
Here’s A BMW X7 Pickup Truck You Can’t Have
It’s not April 1, so no jokes here. This car is very real, but you can’t buy one.
BMW has transformed its biggest SUV into a pickup truck, and it’s pretty cool.
Developed by BMW Group vocational trainees in cooperation with the Concept Vehicle Construction and Model Technology divisions at BMW’s Munich plant, the BMW X7 Pickup is a one-off concept that can carry five passengers and an F 850 GS motorcycle. The roof panel, rear door skins, and tailgate are made from carbon fiber to minimize weight, trimming 440 pounds off the X7 SUV’s weight despite being a four inches longer.
The truck bed is finished in fine-polished wood finish, while a height-adjustable two-level air suspension makes it easier to get things into it.
There are no mechanical changes. Power is provided by a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that has been turbocharged to produce 340 horsepower, with an eight-speed automatic transmission driving the four wheels. BMW didn’t publish towing capacity, or revealed the effect the pickup conversion has on performance.
The BMW X7 truck concept looks production-ready and could be an interesting addition to the BMW lineup, but the German automaker stresses it has no plans to build it. What a shame.