Today, BMW and artist Jeff Koons unveiled the latest and 17th BMW Art Car. The legendary art car created by Jeff Koons will race where the first rolling pieces of art by legendary artists raced – at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France on 12th and 13th June 2010.
Koons’ canvas is a BMW M3 GT2, which was homologated to compete at this year’s running of the world’s most famous endurance race.
Traveling back and forth to Germany many times since the 2nd February announcement that Koons would create the 17th BMW Art Car, the artist has worked with the BMW engineering and design teams to conduct in-depth explorations of materials and application options that will prove crucial to optimizing both the aesthetic and aerodynamic attributes of the race car. Working with actual 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) models of the BMW M3 GT2, Koons was able to simulate the application of the graphic to the car’s surfaces and evaluate it from all angles.
Under Koons’ direct guidance and supervision, his BMW Art Car was produced in association with a team of BMW engineers and designers at Schmid Design, near Munich. The challenge to create the BMW Art Car had to do with using a light material and a design that would not interfere with the race car’s aerodynamics and weight. Timing was also an issue, as there was only a two month window between the first design sketches and the Paris world premiere. This is why digital print on car wrapping vinyl was used covered by a double clear-coating to bring out the colour.
To apply hundreds of dynamic lines of Koons’ design onto the car, CAD designs were translated from 3D into 2D for the printing process and then painstakingly applied to the entire car as well as onto individual spare parts. Koons design incorporates many bright contrasting colours to communicate the aesthetics of power. The concept design was transformed into hard edged lines of colour. Graphics of debris were added to the rear sides and back of the car to simulate the power of the car. Furthermore, two graphic rings on the rear of the car represent supersonic acceleration.
The BMW M3 GT2 Art Car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest endurance race in all of sports car racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, Sarthe, France.