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Wow!!!


Imagine how great this stuff would be--I wonder how durable it is?

You could change the color of your car on a whim (he said it only takes 2 hours to put the skin on).

Every few years you could have a brand new (looking) car!

Awesome find.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It could also change its aerodynamic shape, depending on speed, lowering profile / cross-section, extending whale tail. I can't get over the doors - no seams, just a beautiful flowing shape. Still, the best is the salamander head-lights - it is really winking at you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow!!!

Imagine how great this stuff would be--I wonder how durable it is?

You could change the color of your car on a whim (he said it only takes 2 hours to put the skin on).

Every few years you could have a brand new (looking) car!

Awesome find.
Yes, you could change colors, and even swap out fender bars for slightly different shapes - you could have a performance skin and fender bars, and luxury skin and fender bars. I bet it would be a snap to change out the tail-lights, as they rest beneath the skin, so they wouldn't have recessed fasteners.

When you buy the car, you could buy additional skins as a planned refurbishment, both internal and external. I wonder if the skins could be dry cleaned or machine washable to get rid of all those squashed bugs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just wonder how the skin react in a wind tunnel or to projectile. If it tears up, you could end up naked :D:D:D
I suspect that architectural fabrics, like that ones used to roof the Denver Airport (Link) would not propagate a puncture / tear. The puncture / tear could then be sewn and/or internally / externally patched, which should be as cheap as patching a tire - probably an iron-on type fix.

I would purchase the vehicle with the intent to reupholster the car regularly, knowing that the fabric would be damaged. The fabric couldn't be that expensive, and it would be such an easy frequent upgrade.
 

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THIS is what I'm talking about!! Very cool.

BMW thinking outside the box. You would never get this from Toyota, Honda, etc. because design means squat to them.

Some derivative of this should be looked into very long and hard by GM for future consideration. I still think there will come a time when car DESIGN will matter again. I want GM leading the pack at that time.

I have to think about this concept some more. It may have more use in light truck, SUV, and van applications than even cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Met,

When EV's become prolific, the major automakers will no longer have the advanced ICE technology lead / lock, which prevented entrants into the auto industry. Now, anyone can build EV's, as Tesla Motors proved, and with renewable energy propulsion, aero-dynamics will not be such a big factor. Many new entrants can compete on styling and performance alone, and I suspect these new entrants will consider a flex skin approach, because body panel tooling is very expensive.
 

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Jason,

It seems like some sort of combination of fixed body skin and this flex-skin could really "reshape" a vehicle in the future. As battery storage improves (maybe disposing of the permanent ICE/gen set), I can imagine adding either towable generators for real long trips, battery powered carts or truck beds to attach when necessary to a primary "Volt-type" vehicle, everything blended together or hidden nicely with flex skin.

The next 10-20 years will be interesting indeed! If you care about car design, that is. I can see us either going down into the bland appliance path championed by Toyota/Honda. Or the more interesting path of innovative design, style, and creativity. I hope in the future people will take more of an interest in their vehicles as creative expressions rather than as an annoying necessity. Why would you spend so much money on something you need but don't want? Wouldn't you rather spend the money on some thing you need and DO want?
 

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I just wonder how the skin react in a wind tunnel or to projectile. If it tears up, you could end up naked :D:D:D
Aircraft have been built from tube and fabric since the first one. I'm sure that this where the inspiration for this concept comes from. There are limits to how much wind fabric can take, but tube and fabric airplanes that go 200mph and more are common. I'm not too sure if the general car buying public is ready for shape shifting lycra cars though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Aircraft have been built from tube and fabric since the first one. I'm sure that this where the inspiration for this concept comes from. There are limits to how much wind fabric can take, but tube and fabric airplanes that go 200mph and more are common. I'm not too sure if the general car buying public is ready for shape shifting lycra cars though.
That's an excellent point, I forgot the old WWI aircraft were wood and cloth, and they did fly faster than any car will drive.

I think people would like the head-light / tail-light approach, as well as the doors, in this concept. I suspect the "fenders", etc. would all remain stationary in production, but it gives designers the ability to rapidly test and select various shapes using the same skin. The internal fabrics aren't really necessary. The extendable whale tail would also be a good feature.

I like the ability to rapidly re-upholster the entire vehicle in a couple hours. The ability to change skins (color/sheen), and even some of the fender bars for customizing the look would be a plus to those who tend to change vehicles like others change shirts.
 
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