BMW Museum is nowadays the host of an extraordinary collection of cars: the BMW Art Car collection. Fifteen out of the seventeen BMW Art Cars that were created through time, beginning in 1975, are exhibited in the bowl-shape section of the BMW Museum in Munich, and at the very top of the line, sits the 17th BMW Art Car, the BMW M3 GT2 created by Jeff Koons.

The origin of the BMW Art Cars lies in Motorsport, and the 17th BMW Art Car makes no exception. Jeff Koons, the artist chosen for this project and one of the most famous artists in the world today, has tried to represent in his design the energy of the BMW M3 GT2.

In order to do so, he immersed in the world of sports cars, riding even a BMW M1, to get a feel for the “raw, unfiltered power” of the car and to get to know the exhilaration of speed.


As part of his creative process, the artist collected images of race cars, related graphics, vibrant colors, speed and explosions. The resulting artwork of bright colors conceived by Koons is evocative of power, motion and bursting energy. Its silver interior along with the powerful exterior design, the Art Car will impart a dynamic appearance even when it’s standing still.

Koons had complete freedom with the design – the only condition imposed by BMW Motorsport was that the aerodynamics of the racing car could not be altered in any way. Timing was also an issue, as there was only two months 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 color.

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 colors to communicate the aesthetics of power. The concept design was transformed into hard eged lines of color. 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.


“These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy,” said Jeff Koons in a press release. “You can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car – it’s really to connect with that power.”

The BMW M3 GT2 participated on June 12 and 13 to 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. Andy Priaulx (GB), Dirk Müller (DE) and Dirk Werner (DE) have raced the no. 79 BMW Art Car, which unfortunately had to retire early in the race, due to technical difficulties.

Derived from the BMW M3 high-performance sports car, the BMW M3 GT2 boasts a 4.0-litre V8 engine with a maximum output of 500 bhp, an upgraded chassis, racing-caliber brakes, and extensive use of lightweight materials. The BMW M3 GT2 accelerates to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 186 mph.


You can admire the BMW M3 GT2 at BMW Museum until the end of June 2011.

In the following days we will get back with a more comprehensive story of all the fifteen BMW Art Cars exhibited at BMW Museum. Stay tuned for exclusive pictures and details!