Normally, when automakers introduce a new car, they would very much want to leverage on the car’s paint job to catch our eyes. Well, that’s ‘normally’ and ‘normally’ does not apply to the BMW with its third-generation BMW X6. The Sports Activity Coupé will make its premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month and when it does so, BMW will be rolling out a blackest X6 you will ever see, dubbed VBX6.
The super black appearance is thanks to a Vantablack VBx2 nanostructure paint finish. Vantablack is, of course, the world’s blackest material ever invented. Now, if you have seen how Vantablack disguises the lines of an object, you’d expect the same for the VBX6, but as it turns out, it not only did not hide the lines, but as far as we can see, it actually highlights the lines and the muscular silhouette. Here’s the ‘science’ behind it:
“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 impressively on the BMW X6.”
So, yeah, it is not the original Vantablack that took the world by storm some years ago. Still, the X6 made history as being the first and only vehicle in the world to feature a Vantablack paint finish, or more correctly, a Vantablack VBx2 paint finish. Actually, it looks kinda cool, but I am pretty sure it is a very bad idea to be driving this thing at night. Especially, in a moon-less night on roads that are void of streetlights.
All images courtesy of BMW AG.