The Frankfurt Motor Show concept wears an anti-reflective paint typically reserved for aerospace applications
BMW has revealed a one-off, black version of its new X6 SUV, finished in shadows designed to highlight the silhouette of the second generation model, and so dark it hides most of the design details.
To be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the model was finished in Vantablack paint by Newhaven-based Surrey Nanosystems. An anti-reflective coating color can make an object appear two-dimensional and, as a result, is a “pretty difficult car paint finish” according to BMW.
Asking why the new X6 will be painted in such a way that the design models, Hussein al-Attar said: “Internally, we often refer to the BMW X6 as a “beast”. I think that says it all.
“The Vantablack VBx2 trim accentuates this aspect and makes the BMW X6 look particularly menacing. In addition, the BMW X6 has always been the most provocative and in your face model in our portfolio. So why not emphasize it even further, with a finish that simply captivates the viewer's attention?”
'Vanta' stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Cork Array, and refers to the microscopic carbon structure that serves as the basis for the finish. Each strand is 5000 times thinner than a human hair, 14-50 microns in length and 20 nanometers in diameter.
Each square centimeter of disposable X6 contains about 1 billion nanotubes, which reflect rather than absorb light, and effectively convert it into heat.
The technology was originally developed for use in space exploration; its propensity to reduce glare and whiten means it is suitable for coating aluminum and optical components.
Ben Jensen, founder of Surrey Nanosystems, said: “We have turned down numerous requests from various automakers in the past. He took the BMW X6 and its unique, expressive design for us to entertain the idea.”
The first Vantablack paint was launched in 2014 and claimed to absorb 99.965% of light. Jensen said that this product was no good for the X6 as "as the viewer would lose all sense of three-dimensionality."
The show car will make its public debut in Frankfurt, along with the production of X6 and X5 bulletproof VR6 protections.
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