At every major auto show of the year, concept cars and prototypes are some of the most intriguing, buzz-worthy cars and trucks of the day. They're futuristic, technologically advanced and sometimes downright outlandish. Without them, auto shows wouldn't be much more exciting than taking a tour of automaker showrooms.
Did you ever wonder just how those crazy concepts came to be, how they were envisioned, built and executed? Were they build alongside production automobiles, or designed in a small garage somewhere? What's the story behind the stunning, show-ready concept?
Well, BMW has an answer for its own concepts and prototypes. That answer is Plant Zero, also called the Experimental Vehicle Shop. Given that all BMW plants have a simple, numerical designation, you know there's a reason that they named this one "zero"; it's because its the plant where BMWs are born.
Located at BMW's Research and Innovation Center in Munich, Germany, Plant Zero is where the prototypes and new-model test cars are built by hand. The plant also serves to perfect processes that will be used in the production of BMW vehicles. While model production is spread out across the world, every BMW has made its way through Plant Zero.
BMW will be highlighting a few M3-based prototypes, as well as an M5 concept, on Friday. One of those prototypes is the much-buzzed-about, M3-derived pickup that was spied earlier this month. Those new models will provide a look at some of the product that comes out of Plant Zero.
In the meantime, the video below provides a look at how Plant Zero operates and innovates. It's a very interesting five minutes for anyone that likes to look beyond the paint and fiberglass to see what goes into making some of today's most luxurious cars.