Archive for the 'Concept Car' Category
Aygo Crazy is the perfect antidote to all those wild concept cars that look great on the show stand but never turn a wheel. It is a unique machine that has been developed from the start to deliver no-holds-barred maximum driving pleasure, an unforgettable, fun experience.
Making its public debut at the British International Motor Show in London, Aygo Crazy is a one-off model, a “shopping supercar” that takes Aygo’s essential qualities to the limit. Owing more to the spirit of Group B rallying rather than D1 drifting, this is a car that is all about the joy of driving: with no electronic handling aids, no power steering and no ABS, it is like a kart with doors and a roof.
Recognisably an Aygo, it clearly packs more muscle with its custom-made body, 17-inch alloys and beefy Goodyear 225/45 rubber. There is even a direct link to Toyota’s sporting heritage as Aygo Crazy’s carbon fibre rear wing is a part taken directly from the 200mph race cars in the American Champ Car series.
Aygo Crazy is fettled with the Toyota 1.8 VVT-i unit that powered the final generation Celica and MR2 Roadster, rear-mounted and driving the rear wheels through the Roadster’s five-speed manual gearbox. The addition of a Toyota Motorsport turbo conversion kit boosts power output to 200DIN hp and torque to 240Nm.
Compare the performance to the 68 DIN bhp and 93Nm mustered by the standard road-going Aygo and you gain some idea of just what a different kind of machine this is.
To cope with the greater engine performance, a bespoke cooling system has been designed, with a huge, front-mounted aluminium radiator – ideal for those endless, tyre smoking, crowd pleasing donuts.
Weighing in at just 1,050kg, Aygo Crazy is capable of 127mph (est), but speed is not its defining quality: this is a machine that exists to be responsive and alive to the driver’s commands, to put smiles on the faces of those inside and outside the car.
The suspension is from the MR2 Roadster, with MacPherson struts front and rear. Adjustable Tein dampers sharpen dynamic performance and the front and rear track are one inch wider than on a standard Aygo.
The cabin, finished by specialist coachtrimmers O’Rourke, features purpose-built sports seats with four-point safety harnesses and a full roll cage.
With its bold Aygo Crazy decals and T2 4YGO (turbocharged, two-seat Aygo) number plate, Aygo Crazy will be hitting the show circuit – and the open road – this summer, proving that while this Aygo may be crazy, it’s a memorable madness.
The key to affecting the development of tomorrow’s mobility lies in our readiness to challenge what is established and in the ability to present new options. In order to meet these objectives, BMW Group Design taps into the potential of the GINA principle (Geometry and Functions In “N” Adaptations) which promotes innovative thinking by allowing maximum freedom of creativity. GINA produces dramatically different solutions that affect the design and functionality of future cars.
The GINA Light Visionary Model is an optical expression of selective, future-oriented concepts which provide an example of the manner and extent of this transformation.
BMW Group Design is not just interested in answering the question of how the car of the future will look but primarily wishes to explore the creative freedom it has to offer. Both of these aspects are affected by the requirements that future cars are expected to meet. All ideas that the GINA Light Visionary Model presents are therefore derived from the needs and demands of customers concerning the aesthetic and functional characteristics of their car and their desire to express individuality and lifestyle. The GINA Light Visionary Model has an almost seamless outer skin, a flexible textile cover that stretches across a moveable substructure. Individual functions are only revealed if and when they are needed.
With this model, BMW Group Design initiates a fundamental discourse about the characteristics that will affect the development of cars in future. It is therefore fundamentally different from concept cars, which reflect what is expected of them by implementing as many elements as possible in a future production model. In contrast, the GINA Light Visionary Model is a vision of future cars and serves as an object of research.
The seamless car body of the GINA Light Visionary Model.
Putting its visions of tomorrow’s car into practice, BMW Group Design has developed a two-seater roadster with the unique dynamic proportions that are typical of its brand. The GINA Light Visionary Model takes the sculptural design that has already been established by a number of production cars to a new, unparalleled conclusion. The car’s front and sides, including the doors, create one single uninterrupted, seamless whole that converges to form an optical as well as a structural unit.
In order to create this appearance, it was necessary to move beyond all previous conceptions of car body configuration, design and materials. Therefore, the GINA Light Visionary Model has dispensed with the usual body elements found on production vehicles such as front apron, bonnet, side panels, doors, wheel arches, roof, trunk lid and rear deck. Instead, a new structure with a minimum amount of components has taken their place. A special, highly durable and extremely expansion-resistant fabric material stretches across a metal structure.
This new material offers designers a significantly higher level of freedom of design and functionality.
The body consists of only four elements. The largest component extends from the front of the vehicle to the edge of the windscreen and down the sides to the rear edge of the doors. The large side panels start at the front where the rocker panels emerge and run across the rear wheel arches into the rear. The fourth component is the central rear deck element.
An innovation breaks new ground: car with a flexible outer skin.
The innovation of a flexible outer skin breaks new ground in automotive engineering. This revolutionary solution opens up new design, production and functionality potential. It has a major impact on the interaction between driver and car and enhances it by offering a variety of entirely new options. Some elements of the substructure are moveable. The driver can move them by means of electro and electro-hydraulic controls. This will also change the shape of the outer skin, which can thus be adapted to suit the current situation, the driver’s requirements and can also enhance the car’s functional range.
The most striking example of this is the headlight design. In normal position, when the headlights are not active, i.e. when there is no necessity to illuminate the road, they are hidden under the special fabric cover. As soon as the driver turns on the lights, the contour of the front end changes. Activated by the metal structure that lies beneath it, the previously closed fabric cover opens to the right and left of the BMW kidney grille and reveals the BMW double head-lights. The rear and the rocker panels of the GINA Visionary Model can also adapt both the shape and function to the driving situation in hand. Both can change the shape of their outer skin to meet the driver’s requirement for particularly dynamic motoring. This concept also takes into account a potential interaction with aerodynamic requirements. The design of the rear element allows for automatic lifting of the rear spoiler when a certain speed is reached, thus creating extra downforce on the rear axle at higher speeds. Due to the fact that the entire rear end, including the spoiler, is covered by a single sheet of material that reaches as far as the rear compartment of the interior, the homogeneous shape of the car’s rear will not be affected by changes to the spoiler position. The mechanical system that moves the elements remains concealed.
The turn indicators and the taillights function without changes to the shape of the outer skin. Their position, however, is only revealed upon activation. The emitted light shines through the translucent fabric cover, which is permeable to light but not transparent.
The rocker panels demonstrate the formal versatility of the GINA Light Visionary Model with an equally impressive performance. The air duct can be optimised if required. A corresponding movement of the metal structure results in an adjustment of the rocker panel contour to allow for better airflow. At the same time, an additional protruding rocker panel line emerges. The aerodynamic optimization and the length of the line can be infinitely adapted to the driving situation at hand.
Special fabric cover ensures accurate reproduction of material folds.
The fact that the body surface is designed by means of a flexible fabric cover that stretches across a metal substructure means that the materials used must meet exacting requirements. Industrially produced hybrid fabric made from a stabilizing mesh netting support and an outer layer that is both water-repellent and resistant to high and low temperatures is suitable for this application.
Another essential material property is a maximum level of dimensional stability.
It must remain dimensionally stable irrespective of the temperature and air humidity it is exposed to even after severe and constant expansion. The dimensional stability helps retain the cover’s surface tension for a long period of time. The movement of individual body elements creates accurately reproducible folds in the material. In its choice of material BMW Group Design was inspired by exterior and interior architecture. The expertise of seat pattern designers working for BMW Group Interior Design was successfully applied in order to cut the fabric webbing to size with maximum precision, determine the strategic position of attachment points and stretch the material. As a result, the surfaces are remarkably well balanced and due to the steady tension that is retained between any two clearly defined points, the lines are extremely accurate.
The special fabric is supported by a metal wire structure. At specific points, the high-strength metal is enhanced by carbon struts with a higher flexibility. They are used predominantly for round, moving contours with a particularly narrow radius.
The use of large fabric areas and the possibility of changing the surface contours by moving individual parts of the metal mesh that lies beneath it create a new relationship between form and function. If additional cooling air is required, the BMW kidney grille at the front of the vehicle can be opened. Because the overall surface of the special fabric covering remains unchanged, the contraction at the front of the vehicle, which is necessary for functional reasons, has to be compensated for by extra tension in other areas. The result is an optically attractive interaction between various body parts that introduces a new dimension to sculptural design. The widening of the kidney grille openings is activated by a movement of the metal mesh in the front area of the side panels. This creates more tension, which becomes visible by the emergence of an additional character line. The development of this new contour tenses the front of the vehicle: the kidney grille opens up.
Innovative body structure introduces new functional dimensions.
The high-precision fit of the material to the metal mesh also allows surface changes without slackening the tension. In this case, opening of the surface by moving the respective steel mesh struts creates precisely defined folds in the material. The GINA Light Visionary Model uses this option to display a function that corresponds to the opening of the hood in conventional vehicles. The material opens at the center of the engine cover and can be folded to the far right and left along an opening line that is approximately 0.5 meters long, to allow the driver or mechanic access to the service points in the engine.
The filler caps of the engine oil, cooling and wiper water tanks are now open for servicing. Opening and closing is similar to the mechanism on a doctor’s traditional medical bag, where clip-lock fasteners are held together in the middle by a rail.
The effect of the accurate surface material draping is even more impressive when the doors are opened. They swing both outwards and upwards. The high number of attachment points for the fabric cover positioned at the front of the car as well as at rear door edges creates a clearly defined and perfectly reproducible bulk of material. The draping is confined to the area between the front door edge and the side panel. Once the doors are closed, the folds in material disappear completely, leaving a perfectly smooth, stretched material surface.
The interior: discourse between driver and vehicle.
In the interior, variability, form and function are united in an inseparable connection. Whenever selected functions are accessed, the driver also changes the appearance of individual car elements. Again, the car’s variability is adapted to suit the driver’s needs. This creates a close interaction between driver and car in various different situations.
When the car is parked, the steering wheel and the round instruments – rev counter, speedometer and fuel gauge, which are vertically arranged on the center console, are in idle position. This provides the driver with maximum comfort upon entering the car. Likewise, the seat only assumes its optimised functional position and shape if and when the driver sits down on it.
At that point, the headrest, previously firmly integrated into the seat’s backrest, rises up automatically. At the same time, the steering wheel moves towards the driver and the instrument panel moves in the same direction. The information on the best driver-specific position of both steering column and seat is stored in the transducer. The engine is started simply by pushing the start/stop button. The smooth transition of interior and exterior that is typical of BMW convertibles is reinterpreted by the GINA Light Visionary Model. The fabric that covers the rear deck runs into the interior and stretches across the driver and front passenger seats. The same material is also used for the surface design of the door trim and armrests. The shift lever in the center console protrudes from tightly stretched textile bellows. Driver and front seat passenger look out through a steeply inclined windscreen with the inside rear view mirror integrated into its frame. The side view mirrors are connected to the window frame. A narrow vertical dividing bar located at the center of the windscreen harks back to the typical windscreen division of traditional roadsters.
Innovative thinking put into practice: the GINA Light Visionary Model.
With the GINA Light Visionary Model, BMW Group Design focuses on a wide variety of issues that will determine the future conception of mobility.
It demonstrates the results of intense research into design, functionality, material and production. All ideas that have been put into practice in the GINA Light Visionary Model are derived from the same motivation: to challenge conventional and previously pursued solutions. The quest for alternative options has generated a wide variety of different requirements that potential solutions are expected to meet. The main focus is on providing general versatility and catering to customer requirements with sophisticated solutions. In accordance with the GINA principle, every functionality enhancement helps to create an emotional bond between the driver and their car. The new solutions also allow for the option of fast, flexible and cost-efficient production.
Every innovation demonstrated by the GINA Light Visionary Model also contributes to a clearly optimised resource management. As the quest for sustainability is one of the central issues of the GINA philosophy, new materials and manufacturing processes are expected to consume less resources and energy than previous solutions. Accordingly, the infrastructure used for manufacturing cars that are built in compliance with the GINA principle, has also changed. The manufacturing process requires fewer model-specific tools, and more highly-qualified skilled specialists. In all the areas referred to above, the GINA Light Visionary Model has provided inspiration for more intense research into ideas conceived as a result of maximum creative freedom.
Emotional appeal of roadster models and visionary prospect of future cars.
The solutions conceived as part of this philosophy are not considered separately, but have been pooled in an integrating vision – a vision that is expressed in the context of an outstanding, fascinating car. The basic features of a roadster with its eight-cylinder combustion engine below a stretched front that applies motive power to the rear wheels in order to move the car along the road defines this context. The synthesis of elementary visions and sheer driving pleasure expressed by the appearance of the GINA Light Visionary Model has a particularly striking emotional impact. Only the particular appearance of a fascinating car with its authentic design that creates a natural aesthetic look can bring to light the significance of the presented innovations.
The GINA Light Visionary Model builds a bridge between vision and reality by presenting a number of features with a striking similarity with those found on production vehicles. The Roadster rests on 20″ alloy wheels in a cross-spoke design with a matt silver finish. The car body is comprised of an exceptionally light aluminum space frame. Two double tailpipes for the rear exhaust system, a third brake light integrated into the height-adjustable rear spoiler, an air splitter at the front and a rear-end diffuser in a carbon design also meet the standards of a production vehicle.
Nevertheless, the GINA Light Visionary Model retains its character as an object of research. It demonstrates the innovative force of BMW Group Design and its ability to challenge what is established, to find new solutions and to interpret these in the context of the car of the future at a high aesthetic level. This car is the logical continuation of the GINA principle in action. The GINA principle has already led to a variety of innovative concepts and has production vehicles in ways that are completely new and unprecedented by any other car manufacturer.
BMW Group Design uses concept cars such as the BMW concept car CS1 of 2002 as a step on the way towards putting a particular vision into practice. The CS1 was the first to present features such as the basic principle of the innovative control system – the BMW iDrive. Independently from all other innovative features shown by this concept car, the iDrive has become a series production feature.
Similarly, the GINA principle gave rise to an innovative manufacturing method that allows the manufacturers to decorate outer skin components that have been preformed by conventional methods with individually configured, high-precision contour lines prior to their reintegration into the manufacturing process. The Rapid Manufacturing method utilized for this process was first used during the production of hoods for the BMW Z4 M Roadster and the BMW Z4 M Coupe. In these models, the finished hood has received two distinctive contour lines prior to painting. These are not produced by a pressing tool but embossed into the metal with pin-point precision by a robot-guided steel pin.
Both examples illustrate the challenging route from a vision to a concept and to final series production that is not always straight and direct. With the GINA Light Visionary Model, BMW Group Design shows where this route begins. Not all innovations shown by the GINA Light Visionary Model will proceed to the next stages. In its entirety, however, the visionary look into the future shows the extent to which the BMW Group employs creative potential in its endeavor to respond to the challenges of tomorrow’s mobility.
GINA – The BMW Group Design philosophy. Challenging established concepts, hazarding visions.
Successful design arouses desire. In order to achieve this, it is more crucial than ever before that car manufacturers create the conditions that allow customers to establish a close relationship with their cars. Therefore, designers seek ways to promote and intensify people’s identification with their car that reach beyond pure aesthetics. In the premium segment in particular, customers demand cars that stir emotions and allow them to express their individuality. BMW Group Design has set another deepened objective for designing new cars that moves today’s consumers and their demand for enhanced utility and more versatility to the top of their agenda. An innovative concept introduced by BMW Group Design prepares the ground for this new approach: the GINA (Geometry and Functions In “N” Adaptations) principle grants more freedom for car design. It allows the creation of products with a design and functional range that express individuality and meet the wide variety of requirements of those who are using them.
In the 21st century, customers approach their purchasing decision with a high degree of assertiveness, clearly defined requirements and subjective conceptions – particularly when it comes to selecting their means of transport.
In recent years, the interests and priorities that motivated them have changed and, more importantly, they have become considerably more diversified. This development will continue in the future. Today, the BMW Group is already responding to the highly diversified range of customer requirements and heightened expectations by providing services such as a substantially more varied product range, ever increasing possibilities for personalization and requirement-oriented production among others.
Future customer requirements as a benchmark.
By introducing the GINA philosophy, BMW Group Design presents ways of meeting these challenges in the future. The philosophy expresses the readiness and ability of BMW Group Design to consider individual customer requirements as an integral part of car development. Christopher E. Bangle, Head of BMW Group Design, speaks with conviction when he says: “Personal customer requirements will broaden the context of our products and change the core values that define our industry along the way.” For more than ten years now, these issues have inspired Bangle’s ideas. Time and time again, these ideas have been motivating the BMW Group Design team to break new ground and to find pioneering solutions. These results have spawned new customer expectations which in turn inspires designers to develop further innovations.
GINA: Geometry and Functions In “N” Adaptations.
The GINA philosophy offers designers as well as development and production specialists an opportunity to challenge existing principles and conventional processes. Solutions that will benefit the car of the future are examined without predefined rules and from as many perspectives as possible. This also involves questioning what is believed to be set in stone. Does a car roof really have to rest on pillars and be bordered by windows? Do all functions have to be visible at all times, even when they are not needed? How many personalization options does my car offer? Are there any possible alternatives to the rigid body shell made of steel or plastic?
Questions like these lead to groundbreaking, cross-segmental solutions – and visions of the future of individual mobility. An essential principle of the GINA philosophy is to deliberately integrate the potential of new materials and pioneering, innovative constructions into the creative design process, and the idea of challenging existing manufacturing methods and material concepts. BMW Group DesignworksUSA, a subsidiary of the BMW Group that operates globally and caters to companies across the industry, has greatly inspired the design team at BMW Group Design. The design agency’s extensive experience with projects for a number of industrial partners outside of automotive engineering, predominantly in the field of material development and production.
It is in the nature of such visions that they do not necessarily claim to be suitable for series production. Rather, they are intended to steer creativity and research into new directions. This approach helps to tap into formerly inconceivable, innovative potential that reaches far beyond the appearance of future cars and takes into account not only materials and structures but also functions and manufacturing processes. The potential requirements of tomorrow’s customers serve as a benchmark. In addition to aesthetics, the GINA philosophy also deals with ergonomics, the functional range and all other factors that rule customers’ emotional relationship with their car.
With the development of the GINA Light Visionary Model, the BMW Group presents examples of visionary solutions. For the first time, exemplary adaptations of various approaches described by the GINA philosophy are brought to life to illustrate the potential impact of this concept on the future of automotive engineering. The limits of current material properties and manufacturing processes are projected far into the future. All innovations that these cars present focus on the variable adaptation of form and function based on individual and situation-related driver requirements as well as the demands of the driving situation itself. Therefore, both the exterior and the interior are equipped with a variety of components that differ significantly from conventional solutions, not only by the way they look but also in terms of their basic properties.
For example, the GINA Light Visionary Model presents features such as a virtually seamless outer skin made of a textile fabric that stretches across a moveable substructure. Functions are only offered if and when they are actually required. The drastic re-interpretation of familiar functionality and structure means that drivers have a completely new experience when they handle their car. Reducing the car to its essentials and adapting it to the driver’s requirements enhances the car’s emotional impact and achieves a crucial objective of the GINA philosophy.
Visions spawn innovative concepts.
The strategy of challenging what is established, exploring new possibilities and focusing on customer demands and requirements has inspired the BMW Group to implement a wide variety of innovative concepts. It has also affected the design of production cars in ways that are completely new and unprecedented by any other car manufacturer. A wide range of innovations that have been acclaimed for their virtually revolutionary character is actually based on the GINA philosophy. On the way from vision to production model, visionary ideas have been turned into new concepts.
Both the sculptural design presented by the BMW X Coupe concept car, for example, and the interplay of convex-concave surfaces that has affected the design of all production vehicles, are derived from visions with an innovative power. This power is generated by the unrestricted freedom that characterizes the quest for wider design possibilities. In the example mentioned above, the natural material properties of the outer skin have been deliberately incorporated into the design process. The design process has integrated the twisted surfaces and has used the specific sculptural aesthetics of the convex-concave elements that are created by the material’s reaction. The design of the BMW Z4, which has been modeled on the BMW X Coupe concept car, is a striking example.
These visions could only be implemented because of the development of completely new manufacturing technologies. As before, the objectives defined by the GINA philosophy have been achieved thanks to the special expertise of production engineers and their ability to move beyond traditional methods. Their effort has allowed the creation of a form language that has not only significantly enhanced aesthetic standards and the significance of design as an expression of product substance, but also the manufacturing processes themselves.
Versatility in function and form stirs emotions.
Some of the pioneering visions that are based on the GINA philosophy have also been implemented in the interior design of concept cars such as the BMW CS1 concept car of 2002. This car’s interior is equipped with control and functional elements that become visible only if and when the driver wishes to avail of them. Thanks to a flexible, Neoprene-covered instrument panel, the driver’s attention can focus on the required functions. This situation-oriented variability of form and function invites the driver to engage in a dialogue with his car. Using these functions, the driver experiences an emotional reaction. This is caused by the fact that he can adapt the car’s appearance to suit his personal wishes. In this application, the intelligent deployment of flexible material dispenses with the need for complex mechanical features. At the same time, the versatile appearance has a natural aesthetic appeal.
The control concept iDrive, first demonstrated by the BMW Z9 and refined in the BMW CS1 concept car has long since become established as part of BMW production models. It is a perfect enhancement to the spirit of the GINA philosophy, as it is guided by the principle of displaying only those functions to the driver that are relevant to the individual driving situation. The cockpit adjusts to the driver’s needs. As he handles the car by interacting with it, the driver forms a strong emotional bond.
Integration of meaningful functions that are relevant to the customer.
It is one of the GINA principles to challenge existing solutions in order to broaden the context, thus extending the scope of possibilities for customers. In the engine compartment of the BMW CS1 concept car, the engine cover has been replaced by flexible stretch material. A graphical display panel provides information on the particular arrangement of the service functions, integrated zip fasteners facilitate easy, hands-on access to the filler caps of the cooling water and wiper water tanks. A number of functions – cover, orientation and access to service points – are integrated into one component in a logical and attractive manner. This deliberately minimalist approach to the deployment of components is an active contribution to the protection of resources.
Rapid Manufacturing for more versatility.
As a result of our interdisciplinary cooperation, we have developed a method that allows manufacturers to decorate outer skin components that have been preformed by conventional methods with individually configured high-precision contour lines prior to their reintegration into the manufacturing process. The GINA design philosophy has been applied to Rapid Manufacturing to create an unparalleled method of manufacturing single components fast, cost-efficiently and with a focus on individual requirements.
This combination of processes was first used during the production of hoods for the BMW Z4 M Roadster and the BMW Z4 M Coupe. These models received their distinctive contour lines at a separate production stage which differed significantly from conventional sheet metal processing. The lines were embossed into the hood with pin-point precision by a robot-guided steel pin. This approach allows for entirely new ways of individualized production.
With Rapid Manufacturing, customer preferences can be implemented when car body elements and other components are designed to the specifications of designers.
New materials and manufacturing processes create a natural aesthetic appeal.
The cockpit surface of the BMW Concept Coupe Mille Miglia 2006, which has been influenced by the technology of industrial origami, is another example of vision-based, revolutionary design. It has produced solutions that reflect several guiding principles of the GINA Philosophy. The number of components is significantly reduced compared to conventional cockpits while completely new methods of combining different materials have provided valuable stimulation for the conception of innovative production technologies. The manufacturing process has deliberately relied on the expertise and technical skills of highly-qualified specialists, whose competence is a prerequisite for the practical implementation of design visions.
The exterior design of concept cars also reflects innovative concepts resulting from the practical implementation of visionary ideas. Both the sculptural design presented by the BMW X Coupe concept car, for example, and the interplay of convex-concave surfaces that has affected the design of all production vehicles (introduced for the first time in the Z4), are derived from visions with an innovative power. This power is generated by the unrestricted freedom that characterizes the quest for wider design possibilities. The design deliberately uses the interplay of splines as character lines and the natural flow of stretched convex-concave surfaces.
The designer’s metal processing ideas for the interior of the BMW Mille Miglia Concept Coupe were inspired by the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. An inherently stable, three-dimensional structure was created from two-dimensional V2A sheets of metal by means of a special laser cutting and folding processes. This technique produced joints which were strategically employed for integrating ventilation functions into the cockpit without the need for additional elements. The result was an innovative solution with a natural aesthetic appeal that was produced with a minimum amount of tools.
he GINA principle: Priority for sustainable solutions.
The GINA philosophy objective also includes the quest for sustainability on different levels. The search for new materials and production technologies favors solutions that work with less raw material and energy. A minimalist approach to the use of components and production stages yields ecological and economic benefits. As part of our endeavor to create social sustainability, we are looking for production methods that rely on the expertise of highly qualified specialists instead of expensive manufacturing tools.
With its goal-oriented research into new materials, the assessment of production processes without tools such as Rapid Manufacturing and the incentive to incessantly challenge existing solutions, the BMW Group is already equipped with a variety of tools that bring the implementation of the GINA philosophy to life for the customer. Research objects such as the GINA Light Visionary Model demonstrate that the principles of the GINA philosophy grant designers maximum freedom for approaching their subject with visionary thinking. This approach is used for finding solutions that offer customers new possibilities of adapting forms and functions to suit a variety of personal requirements and the driving situation in hand.
They pave the way for innovative ideas that can be implemented in concept cars in order to stimulate series production.
This way, visions can create products that allow drivers to interact with their vehicle in ways that reach far beyond the conventional individualization potential established thus far. The GINA philosophy allows BMW Group Design to support and steadily enhance this interaction and help drivers build a strong emotional relationship with their car. With its sensible and careful use of resources for products and their development, the GINA principle contributes to the sustainability of future car generations. After all, the social significance of the GINA philosophy is a product of its heightened application of social aspects both to the development processes and to the conscious reflection of customer requirements.
Visteon Corporation and 3M showcased today a jointly developed concept vehicle featuring more than 50 innovative technologies designed to enhance the driving experience of upcoming and future vehicles.
Demonstrating innovations in the core technology areas of climate, interiors and electronics, including lighting, the concept vehicle demonstrates potential commercial applications that could result from this exciting collaboration.
Announced in January 2008, the advanced technology collaboration between Visteon and 3M has paved the way for the two Fortune 500 companies to develop consumer-driven automotive products that capitalize on the expertise of each company.
3M is recognized universally as an innovator, supplying more than 1,000 products to the automotive marketplace by tapping into a broad range of technology platforms, including lighting and optical films. Visteon, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, is known for its vehicle integration expertise and for its first-to-market innovations in automotive climate, interior and electronics systems. “The collaborative approach is a cornerstone in Visteon’s innovation strategy, “said Steve Meszaros, vice president of Visteon’s global electronics and innovation organisation.”Visteon and 3M are able to incorporate key insights into the innovation process because of their in-depth understanding of both the car manufacturers and the consumers who ultimately buy the vehicles.” “This relationship is exciting; it brings together two automotive companies with unique and complementary strengths,” said John Jackson, technical director, 3M Deutschland GmbH. “3M and Visteon intend to use the demonstration vehicle as a centerpiece in discussions with automakers about future technology solutions.”
Using proprietary research methodologies, Visteon and 3M combined the results with insights from advanced trends analysis to establish key trends impacting future automotive design: comfort, connectivity, convenience, health, flexibility (individualism) and sensorial experiences. The technologies presented on the vehicle offer greater design flexibility for automobile manufacturers and enhanced driver awareness and health for vehicle occupants. The facilitation of user friendly connectivity solutions, improved interior comfort and enhanced visual experience through innovative Human Machine Interface (HMI) solutions offer further benefits to driver and passengers.
The technologies on display are at different stages of development, ranging from market ready to commercialization ready in the medium to longer term. Visteon products featured in the X-Wave include:
The vehicle features Visteon’s Integrated Center Panel, which shows how climate, audio and multimedia controls can be stylishly packaged for easy user interaction. This ultra-thin, twisted helix- shaped touch panel uses field-effect switches to enable a clean, “dead-front” look in situations when the center panel buttons do not need to be visible. When a user’s hand nears the panel, the vehicle senses it and the buttons automatically illuminate to show an extremely user-friendly human-machine interface (HMI). When a user pushes one of the buttons to select a function, the switch is actuated and gives haptic feedback – a tactile vibration like a pulse – to lend a more natural button feel and let the user know his or her command is being processed.
A good example of Visteon’s consumer-focused innovation is in the integration of portable media devices. Visteon offers wireless connectivity technologies that integrate personal devices such as iPods®, mobile phones and other devices via both wired USB and wireless Bluetooth® connections. This integration allows consumers to operate the portable devices by using the vehicle’s audio system and controls.
To help accommodate the proliferation of electronic devices requiring connectivity solutions in the market, Visteon has designed a clever dual-access console lid. This armrest is unique in that it incorporates a multi-axis hinge for the dual-access feature. This lid can be flipped to serve as a connectivity hub for electronic devices – this improves accessibility, storage and safety by securely holding the devices in place, even when flipped back to its original position. Visteon’s latest application-ready R744 climate system consumes up to 25 percent less fuel than conventional R134a systems and enables a reduction of CO2 tailpipe emissions of up to 7g/km while operating the air-conditioning system. Core components of the climate system include an electrical compressor, which allows for efficient package utilization and supports hybrid applications and a heat pump for supplemental heating.
The vehicle also features two of Visteon’s unique HVAC systems – the Straight Airflow Path (SAP) HVAC and the flat auxiliary HVAC. The packaging and compact nature of the front SAP HVAC system allowed the design team flexibility to shift the IP forward in vehicle providing for increased spaciousness in the interior compartment as well as creating space for the dual storage glove box. The unique packaging of the auxiliary Flat HVAC, under the driver’s seat, provides for softer air diffusion without taking away from storage space typical of auxiliary HVAC systems in most vehicles today. In addition the Flat HVAC unit incorporates an Ion Generator to improve overall air quality (A/C odor reduction, cabin air quality improvement by cluster ion generator’s anti-fungi and deodorization property, as well as improvements in overall HVAC filter efficiency) The 3D Driver Information Cluster provides higher visibility enhancements for icons and graphics permitting the concurrent display of multiple images. Through this technology, auto manufacturers are able to offer a more immersive and customizable driving experience. This technology also has the benefit of being lower cost than alternative 3-D solutions.
To improve the perception of high quality interiors, a unique translucent TPO skin material can be used to provide driver and front passenger messaging and surface mounted branding. Not only does the ‘secret-until-lit’ technology delightfully surprise the passengers, but it also allows increased use of ambient lighting to create increased interior harmony. Underhood, the vehicle’s Air Induction System incorporates several technologies, a low-restriction hydro carbon evaporative emission trap to reduce environmental impact and a Variable Noise Control resonator to enhance engine sound performance. 3M products featured in the X-Wave include:
3M, promoting development activities in the three major automobile markets of Europe, Japan and the US, is now addressing the major needs in the current and future markets:, (1) Improvement of safety
(2) Creating attractive and comfortable vehicles and (3) Environmental measures for sustainable development.
To meet these needs, 3M aims to offer new solutions related to materials or intermediate materials based on the experience and technologies 3M has accumulated in the three major markets, and thereby contribute to sustainable growth in the automobile industry To address the marketplace need to display more information within the vehicle in unique and novel ways, 3-D technologies from 3M have been incorporated into the instrument cluster. The use of 3-D has improved the driver experience by utilizing eye catching turn-by-turn navigation graphics on the driver cluster. Static 3-D technologies are also displayed in badging, enhancing not only the driver experience but also reinforcing OEM brand image.
Automotive designers want to hide functional elements of the vehicle to provide a unique look and feel without compromising visual clarity of displays and lighting effects. 3M transmissive optical films have been used on the IP to provide a sleek black panel that does not compromise design and function.
Interior lighting becomes important to underline the OEM brand image and to increase perceived quality. 3M integrated lightguide technologies like 3M Precision Lighting Elements or 3M Lightstrings in the door panels, map pockets and cockpit area to create amazing and stylish light effects with even functional features.
Visteon Corporation is a leading global automotive supplier that designs, engineers and manufactures innovative climate, interior, electronic and lighting products for vehicle manufacturers, and also provides a range of products and services to aftermarket customers. With corporate offices in Van Buren Township, Mich. (U.S.); Shanghai, China; and Kerpen, Germany; the company has facilities in 26 countries and employs approximately 41,500 people. About 3M
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M’s core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms – often in combination – to a wide array of customer needs. With $24 billion in sales, 3M employs about 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 60 countries. For further information please go to: www.3M.com
MAGNA STEYR presents the third concept vehicle in the MILA innovation family at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.
The MILA Alpin is a compact off-roader with a body specially designed for integrating various different types of alternative drives. This means: Excellent all-terrain capability, wide-ranging uses and emissions of under 100 g CO2 per kilometer.
Creating an attractive vehicle was by no means MAGNA STEYR’s only priority in the MILA Alpin project. The entire product development process was also designed always to make assembly as cost-efficient as possible – whatever the market demands.
A new vehicle segment
Its unique configuration makes the MILA Alpin a vehicle that stands out because of its excellent all-terrain capability and outstanding rough road characteristics. As a result, it is not only suitable for recreation but also as a utility vehicle for special uses. What allows such wide-ranging applications is the mid-engine layout with a low-cost, but effective all-wheel drive system. Its climbing ability is impressive: 100% or 45 degrees. On the road, too, exceptional handling makes the MILA Alpin great fun to drive. What’s more, the hybrid drive using natural gas reduces the impact on the environment.
The MILA Alpin’s shape language also adds to its attraction – inspired by Nature, its lines are as clear as rock and ice.
The engineers at MAGNA STEYR set themselves the challenge of developing an off-roader in several variants with maximum climbing ability – all at low cost. And they certainly succeeded.
The frame consists of straight sections, which are made of different materials to guarantee low weight and enable a flexible body concept. Modular design makes it easier to use components and systems from volume production and combine them with various different innovative modules and optional extras. Thanks to independent suspension and ESP, the chassis guarantees safe on-road characteristics. The mid-engine layout ensures good traction. The considerable ground clearance, large overhang angles, option of locks in the transfer case and axle drives, and low crawling speed all go to make driving safe and relaxed off the road.
A higher sitting position that is relatively far forward and large panoramic roof give the driver and passengers perfect visibility. The MILA Alpin has 3 + 1 seats.
There is also the option of a CNG drive, a hybrid or a small, supercharged gasoline engine.
From concept to reality
To manufacture a vehicle with low production volume and high number of variants economically, tool investment has to be reduced as far as possible. This fact in particular was taken into account when designing the MILA Alpin. Given the modular design, automation can be kept at a low level and, at the same time, flexibility in assembly at a high level. The MILA Alpin concept can therefore be used for volume production without any problems – especially by a flexible specialist in engineering and vehicle assembly, such as MAGNA STEYR. The requirements for production have been met by optimizing the overall process and the individual systems at every stage of development. This approach also enables the costs of any subsequent modifications due to market demand to be kept down to a minimum.
All the innovative components, such as energy storage systems, and the expertise for hybrid drives stem from in-house advance development.
MAGNA STEYR has developed and designed the vehicle to be brand neutral. It can therefore be built together with various OEMs.
The MILA Alpin:• Compact off-roader with alternative drive options
• CO2 reduction as optional extra
• Wide-ranging uses
• Optimized product development chain (reduction in tool investment; cost-effective, flexible production)