Concept pics of the 17th BMW Art Car, and details about its inspiration, inside.

The BMW M3 GT2 designed by artist Jeff Koons will be raced during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-June.  The contest takes place 11 days after the car, part of the BMW Art Car programme, is introduced to the public at the Centre Popidou in Paris.

There, Koons will present and sign the vehicle.  It is the 17th Art Car commissioned by BMW, with the first having been designed in 1977 by Roy Lichtenstein.

But a different artist served as the inspiration for this model.  The M3 GT2 carries number 79 as a tribute to the Andy Warhol car designed in 1979.  Strangely, Warhol's car was painted with number 76 as a tribute to artist Frank Stella's 1976 model.

Koons announced that his art car will use streaks of over-saturated colors against a black background, with a silver interior.  "These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy," the artist said. "You can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy."

"There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car; it's really to connect with that power," Koons was quoted as saying.

The automaker says the car is "evocative of power, motion and light."  We will know for sure after the car is unveiled on June 1.

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