Garage Italia Customs and BMW Italy have teamed up to create a unique i8 “Futurism Edition” to celebrate half a decade of BMW history in Italy.

It was 1966 when BMW officially entered the Italian market and now the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car has received a special livery to celebrate the 50-year milestone. The pattern of the one-off body wrap was inspired by the 1909 “Street Light” ("Lampada ad Arco") oil painting by Giacomo Balla because BMW Italy and Garage Italia Customs thought it would be the most appropriate to show off what the i8 stands for.

BMW provided the i8 and GIC was in charge of creating the tailor-made film which had to be carefully applied on the car’s avant-garde body that looks as if it came from the future. The painting which served as inspiration is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and depicts a street lamp powered by electricity under moonlight. With BMW previewing an electrified future with its "i" range, it make sense that "Street Light" was the foundation of this unique wrap.The i8 Futurism Edition is the latest example of many special cars that were modified for the sake of art, with BMW having a long tradition with art cars. The first one was a 3.0 CSL which in 1975 received a special livery created by Alexander Calder. Right now there are 17 models part of the BMW Art Car Collection, with the most recent one being a 2010 M3 GT2 designed by Jeff Koons.

While the i8 Futurism Edition is not an official BMW Art Car, it does follow a similar philosophy and comes to accentuate BMW’s vision for the future of mobility. The “i” lineup currently has only two members, the i3 and i8, but these will be joined in 2021 by a new pure electric flagship model which will also boast autonomous driving technology.

Source: BMW Italia, Garage Italia Customs

Gallery: BMW i8 Futurism Edition

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Garage Italia Customs puts its signature to the livery of the BMW i8 Futurism Edition, a unique model created to celebrate 50 years of BMW history in Italy. It does so with a pattern inspired by the oil painting “Street Light” by futurist Giacomo Balla. The plug-in hybrid sports car hence becomes a hymn to evolution and technological progress, which are values that have always characterised the BMW i philosophy.

The BMW i8 Futurism Edition project started with the encounter between Garage Italia Customs and BMW Italia. To celebrate 50 years of BMW in Italy, the aim was to create a one-off with a livery which would summarise the concept underlying i8 and the whole BMW i philosophy.    

"There was immediate synergy with BMW Italia – stated Lapo Elkann, President and Founder of Garage Italia Customs – the very first time we met for the i8 Futurism Edition project. Garage Italia Customs and the BMW brand both share, in fact, all the values connected to technology evolution and the continuous search for innovation in their specific sectors. The BMW i8 Futurism Edition is a practice of style. It gave the Garage Italia Customs Maestros a chance to celebrate a car which is projected towards the future of mobility. At the same time, it honours Italian art with Giacomo Balla, who is a prominent figure of the Futurism movement".

The BMW i8 is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most avant-garde sports car of the future on the road today. It authentically expresses both performance and efficiency features as well as the innovative premium character of a plug-in hybrid sports car.

In order to convey at best the BMW i essence, the Garage Italia Customs Style Centre chose Futurism as its inspiration. This art movement is known all over the world for its enthusiasm for modernity hence praises the car as a symbol of technological evolution.

Giacomo Balla’s work of art “Street Light”, from 1909, thus became the starting point for the creation of a tailor-made film which was applied on all the BMW i8 bodywork using the wrapping technique. A century later, the BMW i8 Futurism Edition becomes the symbol of a new concept of sports car of the future. It is innovative, technological and more efficient thanks to its intelligent light carbon structure and aerodynamic design. Furthermore, it is more sustainable because of the highly efficient BMW eDrive technology and the recycled materials used for the interiors. All this was accomplished without compromising its dynamism and sporty look, guaranteeing high performance and low energy consumption thanks to the perfect synchronisation between its electric and combustion engines. Just as the street light symbolised the triumph of electric modernity, now the BMW i8 Futurism Edition launches us towards the future of high performance hybrid vehicles.