Every automaker has their skunkworks, where newly designed vehicles make the transition from CAD drawings and clay models into prototypes and test mules. BMW is no exception, and it comes as no surprise that their “Plant Zero” is deep within BMW’s sprawling Munich headquarters. What is surprising is how BMW takes models from the computer to the street, by milling complex models from billet aluminum. It’s also interesting to see how production robots are programmed; I never stopped to think about it, but I guess the thousands of spot welds in a new vehicle were once done by hand, at least in BMW’s Plant Zero. Video below.
I’m not sure how current the video is (even though BMW only posted it a few days back), since BMW has been using the black and white vinyl camouflage for over a year now. I never realized that they inserted foam shapes beneath the vinyl, but that makes sense if you want to disguise the lines and curves of a pre-production vehicle. Aerodynamics aside, I’d much rather shake down a test mule with vinyl wrap than one with thin plastic panels screwed into the sheetmetal.