BMW one-piece prototypeBMW Plant Zero skunkworks – Click above to watch video after the jump

In the heart of Munich, hidden away from public view by corporate headquarters, is a factory that builds and develops BMW's prototypes, concept cars and test mules. The factory is a small operation, and, according to BMW, it was the first of its kind in the auto industry and continues to be one step ahead.

The plant serves not only as a site to build prototypes and test mules, but as a center to develop manufacturing methods for new models, and make sure tooling for upcoming models fit together just so. That purpose is served by one of the coolest parts of the skunkworks: a prototype milled from a solid block of aluminum. The company is mum on what the one-piece prototype represents, but just the fact that it exists is good enough for us.

The plant's other key function is the rapid development of parts as cars are being tested. If something breaks on a mule or BMW decides it's not up to snuff, Plant Zero can turn around a redesign piece in as little as three days. According to the plant manager, that's possible even with aluminum parts.

To see more of BMW's secret development center, check out the video after the jump. Thanks to all for the tips!

[Source: BMW via YouTube]