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Gina Cloth-Covered Car From BMW
The Gina cloth-covered car is a prototype vehicle from BMW that is covered with fabric rather than metal. Like a living animal, its skin wrinkles a bit when elements are extended (like opening the doors). See it move in the Gina video below.
Video shows moving fabric of Gina fabric-covered car)
The shape of the skin can be altered by the car's owner; it is stretched across flexible metal wires attached to the frame that can be moved with hydraulics.
The fabric itself is a silver expansion-resistant textile that is form-fitted to the car's structure. "The high-precision fit of the material to the metal mesh also allows surface changes without slackening the tension," a spokesman said.
Gina cloth-covered car wrinkles a bit to open)
I can't think of a cloth-covered car in science fiction; readers may have a reference. However, I'm wondering what can be done with the fabric skin.
For example, I think you'd want to have a car skin that kept itself clean; impregnating the cloth with
fabricules from Stephenson's The Diamond Age would give you a car that never needed to be washed. See Self-Cleaning Fabric - Polymer Film Sprinkled With Silver Nanoparticles and Self-Cleaning Wool And Silk Fabrics to see examples on how scientists are working on this kind of fabric.
Police cars would need an advanced surveillance-style fabric; consider the
sonomagnetic fabric used in David Brin's Earth as a fictional start on the idea.
I think everyone would like to cover their car with
Zetix Blast Resistant Fabric, which is a real-life analog to the super suits of comic book characters.
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