There are new photos of the 2020 BMW X6 ahead of the crossover's public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but you might struggle to see the vehicle because it's wearing a Vantablack VBx2 coating. The substance absorbs more than 99 percent of visible light making this covering the blackest color in the world.
Gallery: BMW X6 in Vantablack (2019)
BMW partnered with Vantablack maker Surrey Nano Systems and creative agency Levitation 29 to create the world's blackest X6. The playful idea behind the vehicle is to create a new spin on concealing an upcoming model. Rather than using camouflage or extra panels, this incredibly dark color is supposed to make the crossover's styling difficult to discern.
The Vantablack covering creates the desired effect. At least in photos, it's impossible to see any of the details of the 2020 X6's shape. The vehicle looks like a black void other than a few bits of trim, the greenhouse, and the lights. If you'd actually like to see the X6, check out the automaker's previously released gallery, below.
Gallery: 2020 BMW X6
The third-generation X6 has a similar look to the previous models by taking the X5's general appearance and applying a sloping, coupe-like roofline to the back. In the United States, the new model is available as the rear-drive sDrive40i and all-wheel-drive xDrive40i that both use a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 335 horsepower (249 kilowatts) and 330 pound-feet (447 Newton-meters) of torque. There's also the X6 M50i with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 offering 523 hp (390 kW) and 553 lb-feet (750 Nm) of torque. Regardless of engine, buyers get an eight-speed automatic. The interior features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment display.
Prices start at $65,290 (including the $995 destination fee) for an sDrive40i, $67,595 for the xDrive40i, and $86,465 for the M50i. They should begin arriving at showrooms in November.
Press Release 28th August 2019
BMW have created the World’s first Vantablack Car
THE FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW will be the backdrop for the unveiling of the first and only vehicle in the world to feature a Vantablack® VBx2 coating in a collaboration between BMW, Surrey Nano Systems and Levitation 29. The showcasing of the car, known as the BMW VBX6, will coincide with the world premiere of the a third-generation BMW X6 Sports Utility Coupé.
Vantablack coatings are the blackest in the world, absorbing more than 99% of visible light and almost completely removing all reflections. In a playful and cutting-edge take on the tradition of concealing key design features by keeping cars under cloth or covering them with decals, BMW celebrate the launch of the iconic X6 by showcasing a Vantablack version. A surface coated with a Vantablack VBx2 coating loses its defining features to the human eye, with objects appearing two- dimensional. This can be interpreted by the brain as staring into a hole or even a void. Therefore, coating the BMW X6 has the effect of hiding some of the trademark curves and accentuating other design features such as the optional Iconic Glow kidney grille, distinctive twin headlights and striking taillights.
The new BMW X6 is the first and only vehicle in the world to feature a Vantablack VBx2 paint finish. The design of the BMW X6 provides fascinating contrasts to offset the Vantablack VBx2, which visually alters the viewers perception of the car’s three-dimensional nature. Ben Jensen, Vantablack inventor and founder of Surrey Nano Systems, said “VBx2 with its one-per-cent reflectance provides just enough of a hint of shape”. The spectacular one-off vehicle highlights the expressive and precise design language and confident, dominant and muscular appearance of the new BMW X6 to perfection. Asked whether he was pleased with the final car, Ben Jensen commented; “I think it went beyond all our expectations because of the size of the car, its distinctive shape and how imposing it is”.
The BMW VBX6 marks the latest in a string of high profile collaborations between Surrey NanoSystems, the inventors of Vantablack coatings, and Levitation 29 the technical and creative agency behind the project. Since they started working together in 2018 Surrey NanoSystems and Levitation 29 have produced a number of high-profile world firsts from a blackout house for Activision’s Call of Duty to a 40ft high Vantablack monolith at Coachella music festival for the
Techno DJ and Producer Gesaffelstein. The VBX6 collaboration with BMW however will hold a special place with fans of Vantablack. Benjamin Males from Levitation 29 says; “we get contacted by a lot of people wanting to use Vantablack in their projects - the idea of total blackness is something that really captures the imagination. We have lost count of the number of times people have asked us to coat a car in Vantablack, so It’s great to finally be making it a reality with BMW”.
The concept of the first Vantablack BMW was devised by Christophe Koenig, Spokesperson for the BMW X models. He first proposed the idea back in 2018 and it took over 10 months to come to fruition. “My thoughts of having a Vantablack BMW gets back to the preparation of the BMW X2 launch. Back to the days we wanted to have a kind of stealth painting, but we couldn’t make it happen. Therefore, I’m very excited we were able to do on a bigger car, which makes the effect even more stunning”. During the development process the Levitation 29 team met with Hussein Al Attar, the designer of the X6 who helped to describe the DNA at the core of design of the car. Hussein said; Internally, we often refer to the BMW X6 as “The Beast.” I think that says it all. The Vantablack VBx2 finish emphasises this aspect and makes the BMW X6 look particularly menacing. Moreover, the BMW X6 has always been the most provocative and in-your-face model in our portfolio. So why not emphasise this even further, with a finish that simply captivates the viewer’s attention? After all, that’s what the BMW X6 has always been about. Vantablack VBx2 opens up new possibilities for us as designers. We often prefer to talk about silhouettes and proportions rather than surfaces and lines. The Vantablack VBx2 coating foregrounds these fundamental aspects of automotive design, without any distraction from light and reflections”.
Benjamin Males from Levitation 29 said; “we really can’t wait to see where this collaboration with BMW and Surrey NanoSystems will take us next. The first Vantablack car is certainly a big tick in the box when it comes to dream projects and opens the way for even more large-scale concepts- like a stadium! To create the effect of infinite darkness on that scale would truly be spectacular.”
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