BMW to Showcase “Blackest of Black” X6 in Frankfurt

By Paul Joseph

The 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, which kicks off in less than two weeks’ time, will provide the scene for the world premiere of a spectacular one-off BMW X6 model that’s said to feature the blackest of black paint finishes.

The X6 has been emblazoned with a Vantablack VBx2 nanostructure paint finish that BMW says highlights the “expressive design language and confident, dominant and muscular appearance of the new BMW X6 to perfection”.

This exclusive show car, the first and only vehicle in the world to feature a Vantablack VBx2 paint finish, is the result of a collaboration between BMW and Surrey NanoSystems, the inventors of the Vantablack technology.

“We turned down numerous requests from various automobile manufacturers in the past,” says Ben Jensen, founder and Chief Technical Officer of Surrey NanoSystems.

“It took the BMW X6 and its unique, expressive design for us to entertain the idea.”

With design highlights such as optional Iconic Glow kidney grille, distinctive twin headlights and striking taillights, the new BMW X6 provides eye-catching contrasts to offset the Vantablack VBx2 paint finish, which changes the viewer’s visual perception of an object’s three-dimensional shape.

A surface coated in Vantablack 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, making Vantablack a rather unsuitable vehicle paint finish, as it blots out virtually all the design details and highlights.

For this reason, the BMW X6 was coated in the VBx2 variant initially developed for use in architectural and scientific applications. This coating can be sprayed on and has a one-per-cent total hemispherical reflectance (THR), meaning it is still considered “super black” while enabling a small amount of reflection from every angle.

Thus, materials painted with it seem to lose their three-dimensional appearance – as demonstrated on the BMW X6.

The one-off BMW X6 will be showcased for the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show from 14-22 September.

By Paul Joseph