Each car of the Bavarian brand is a symbol of speed, power, luxury and comfort. The owner of a modern BMW in the eyes of others looks like a successful and wealthy person, and this is one of the main reasons for the popularity of German models.
In this review you will learn about the process of making a BMW – from concept development to prototype launch. We will also look at how manufacturers evaluate a car’s behavior on the road, speed and dynamics before they go into mass production.
BMW chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk once told reporters that when he takes on the task of developing a concept, he only makes general demands on his subordinates. This is done deliberately: specialists whose imaginations are not limited by strict limits often come up with very interesting solutions. Only the main lines of the house style, such as double round headlights and a radiator grille in the form of two nostrils, are not allowed to change.
Make a sketch
This is the first stage of work on the BMW concept. The starting point is the designer’s vision of the future car. When creating a sketch, a specialist uses only a white sheet of paper and a pencil, with which he expresses his thoughts in the form of a drawing. The main task is to reflect the nature of the future model in order to focus on it in the course of further work on the design.
At this stage, the designer’s vision meets reality for the first time when the specialist translates the finished sketch into a packaging plan using flexible tape. It turns out to be a kind of full-size BMW Concept map. When creating it, you need to take into account the technical nuances. The finished drawing should visually represent the silhouette of the future car down to the smallest detail.
The handmade model made of plasticine faithfully reproduces the surfaces and lines of the BMW Concept. During the development of the technical side you will in any case have to make changes. For this, the model is converted into digital form. At this stage, designers work with technical experts to achieve the best combination of form and function.
Assembly of the prototype
Prototyping a future car is based on a digital model approved by the chief designer and head of the company. The assembly is carried out in a special facility in the BMW Research Center (Munich, Germany). Ready-made prototypes of future models leave the assembly line, which are then launched into mass production. The production process is automated as much as possible, but some operations are performed manually by the company’s employees.
The development of the pre-model BMW takes place for the following purposes:
- Selection of a vehicle option that best meets current requirements;
- Determining the correct serial mounting method.
Prototypes are almost 100% made of aluminum, which is completely justified, because they do not wait for strength tests and models of base materials will be mass-produced. When it is ready, the model is pasted with a special foil so that only the contours of the car are visible, and the foil is only removed before the start of the presentation.