Once named the “bubble car”, the Isetta turns heads wherever it goes. It gets people’s creative juices flowing, and not just for thinking up nicknames. BASF has created a unique “MySetta” show car based on a 1958 BMW Isetta 250.
The MySetta is a two-seater that you enter through the front. Innovative BASF products were used to give the car a modern outfit. The MySetta’s chassis, the body, the add-on parts and its interior were completely refurbished. For the overhaul, BASF paints, coated fabrics and flexible foam were used.
BASF’s broad portfolio made this individual project possible. Whether for polyurethane foams for ergonomically correct seats, lightweight engine mounts made of plastic, or unusual coatings, BASF is the world’s largest automotive supplier in the chemical industry. “The automotive industry is one of the BASF Group’s most important customer segments. In order to consolidate the activities and competencies, a lively exchange takes place in the cross-divisional teams,” said Harald Pflanzl, Head of Automotive Refinish Europe at BASF.
Pit stop: Refinishing, foaming and coating
The MySetta made different stops during its refurbishment. For the first stop, a specially developed two-tone finish was applied to the microcar at BASF Coatings’ Refinish Competence Center in Münster. During the meticulous refinishing process, the experienced master spraypainter Michael Wichmann oriented himself toward the original color, using blue for the lower part of the car and white for the top. The “motocoupe” now turns heads with its shimmering basecoat. The waterborne special-effect paint is composed of the colors Big White and the metallic blue Bluetta, which BASF color designers specially created for the Isetta. Special-effect materials create Big White’s brilliant appearance. The modern high-tech paints from BASF’s automotive refinish brand Glasurit ® 90 Line were used. For classic cars, Glasurit also has a dedicated portfolio: the Classic Car Colors, which features the world’s largest historic color library with a total of 600,000 mixing formulas. Of course, the collection also includes the Isetta’s original colors.
The MySetta’s interior was also redesigned. The seats and interior lining were furnished with an innovative new cover. It was produced with the Steron ® system solution, a special transfer coating technology for unique soft-touch surfaces with flexible and nearly limitless design options. The starting point for the production of this cover is a silicon matrix in which the desired surface structure is engraved with a laser. A polyurethane dispersion is sprayed as a thin coat into the matrix, similar to a mold, and takes on the desired form here. By means of modern laser technology, the matrices can be produced quickly and less expensively, with individually created designs. The method can also be used on a wide variety of carrier substrates such as leather and textile, as well as paper and plastic. “In addition to the automotive sector, the Steron’s versatile properties and design options make it suitable for a whole range of applications, such as fashion, accessories, furniture and packaging,” explained Heidrun Goth, head of Steron development. Apart from MySetta, for example, the smart forvision, the concept car presented jointly with Daimler, was also outfitted with seat covers made of Steron.
Less foam, first-class seating comfort
A good car seat needs to be comfortable but firm. The Elastoflex® W polyurethane foam used for the seat combines both these properties. ElastoflexW flexible foams are tailor-made BASF products for all applications for passenger car, truck and bus seating. They are manufactured completely individually to meet the respective customer’s needs and feature an especially high level of comfort and outstanding long-term use properties, especially for weight- and height-reduced foams. Moreover, the good flowability of the Elastoflex W systems provides manufacturers of molded parts with enormous freedom of design. Elastoflex can also be foamed around metal or wooden inserts. The polyurethane products for the automotive industry allow a high-quality interior design and efficient production processes.
True to the motto “Pimp my ride”, the Isetta was not only refinished, but was also equipped with little technical gadgets. The interior contains an entire set of equipment for a home theater. The parcel shelf is equipped with stereo speakers and a video projector, which allows any picnic excursion to be expanded into an open-air movie night. Clothing to match the MySetta’s seat covers and interior trim is available for the driver and passengers. Fashion designer Julia Starp from Hamburg designed a coat made of Steron®-coated fabric. The fashion school Ars Arpel from Milan designed and produced matching shoes from Steron®. The MySetta debuted at the BASF Annual Shareholders' Meeting on April 26, 2013, in Mannheim.
About BASF’s automotive solutions
The automotive industry is one of BASF’s key customer industries, accounting for up to 15 percent of the Group’s total sales. As the world’s leading automotive supplier in the chemical industry, BASF is recognized as a reliable and competent partner by carmakers, suppliers, and the after-sales market. With a strong presence in Europe, Africa, North and South America, as well as in Asia, BASF has a global industry network. It supplies and develops functional materials and solutions that contribute to the vehicles of today and of the future. From engineering plastics, polyurethane and specialty foams, coatings and fuel additives to catalysts, battery materials, pigments, synthetic lubricants, coolants, brake fluids and chemicals for leather and textiles, BASF supplies a broad range of products for use in the automotive industry. Sales to the automotive industry in 2012 were €9.5 billion. Further information on BASF’s automotive solutions is available on the Internet at www.automotive.basf.com .