Blacker than the blackest black times infinity – BMW shows off X6 in Vantablack

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You might have heard of Vantablack before – a hue of black so dark it absorbs 99.965 percent of light. The colour is so unique that the human eye perceives any object painted with it as 2D.

That last bit of trivia is noteworthy especially when you see that BMW has painted a vehicle in this colour.

The third generation BMW X6 is set to be released at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and alongside the new vehicle BMW will present a one-off Vantablack X6.

Now, what confuses us about this decision is that Vantablack effectively removes your ability to perceive the finer details of things. For instance, in the image below you can see that curves of the hood disappear.

According to creative director of Automotive Design at Designworks which worked on the new X6, Al Attar, this is sort of the point.

“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. I am very proud of how beautiful the new BMW X6 has turned out, including its bold and expressive surfaces. But the most remarkable evolution over the predecessor concerns its proportions. And that is precisely what Vantablack underscores, albeit in a rather unexpected fashion,” explains Attar.

Vantablack was created by Surrey Nanosystems by creating a matrix of carbon nanotubes 14 to 50 micrometres in length. As many as one billion of these nanotubes fit into a square centimeter and the net result is almost complete absorption of light.

The colour was developed to coat objects bound for space back in 2014 and Surrey Nanosystems has been improving Vantablack consistently since then. The development of VBx2 prompted the firm to accept BMW’s offer of coating a car in the colour.

“To be honest, we received inquiries from most of the big-name automotive manufacturers, almost from the day we launched the original material in 2014, but we’d always said no. This was also due to the fact that we only had a suitable material once we came up with VBx2. When we were approached by BMW, we were still quite hesitant to begin with. But the new X6 looked so incredibly different that it just felt like a really good fit,” founder at Surrey Nanosystems, Ben Jensen said in a statement.

As we mentioned, this is a once off version of the forthcoming BMW X6 and you won’t be able to buy it for yourself.

Unfortunately that means the best way to experience the blackest black times infinity is a cup of Duncan Hills Coffee and Dethklok.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.


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