Does anybody remember back in the day before the BMW Individual Visualizer existed? Armed with rudimentary Photoshop skills and our imaginations, we toiled for hours (or minutes) to get our dream color on our dream car. How times have changed – now it’s as simple as hopping over to the Visualizer and configuring any number of vehicles to your hearts content with the click of a button.
But, that’s not to say that only Individual colors make a special statement. Some of the factory paint schemes – especially recently – have been a lot to talk about. Especially on BMW’s more limited offerings, like the M4 CSL and M5 CS, the standard paints do it best.
Anyway, here’s some of my favorite colors ever put (or imagined) on a BMW, and I’m hoping you’ll share yours, too!
Speed Yellow got popular in the mid-2010s on the F8X chassis M3 and M4. It’s originally a Porsche color, but BMW’s sporty coupes wear it just as well. Most recently BMW even took some press photos with a G82 M4 wearing the color; so it looks like BMW regards it as highly as I do!
Hailing back to the early days of BMW M, Daytona Violet first appeared back in the E34 and E31 days, and its mostly known as being an option on the elusive E34 M5 Touring, as well as the E36 M3. Its metallic shine and unique depth make it a universally loved color; there’s a handful of F80s – and even some G80s – that chose it as an Individual color. And I certainly do not blame them.
While maybe not as unique as some of the other colors on here, Carbon Black has a long-running history and appears on some of the finest BMWs made to date. Traditionally only available on either full-on M cars or vehicles equipped with the M Sport Package, Carbon Black dates to the 90s, but is worn well on the E46 M3, as well as newer body style X5s and X6s. The metallic blueish hue adds a lot of complexity to an otherwise less-than-noteworthy color.
Skyscraper Grey is one of the newer colors on this list, having been introduced with the current G8X M3 and M4. BMW has a ton of decent greys going on right now; unfortunately, not many silvers. Skyscraper Grey does a great job of bridging that gap and I feel will weather a bit better than some of the other BMW greys out there. Brooklyn (“cement”) is overplayed, Dravit has a bit too much gold in it, but Skyscraper does it just right. It also matches the subdued but still intimidating lines of the G8X lineup.
I’m really trying – I promise – not to just completely rehash my last list of awesome BMW colors. But some of these are just too good to leave off. Laguna Seca Blue is the iconic blue of the E46 M3, commanding a premium far above any other color. It’s hard to find, looks fantastic, and has only been emulated as an option on the F82 M4 Heritage Edition.
One of the best reds in the car industry appeared in the 1990s, notably on the E38 7 Series and the E36 M3 GT2. It was later featured on the E46 3 Series and E39 M5, and those cars still command a bit of a premium if you’re lucky enough to find one in Imola.
Finally, we come to the oldest and most storied color on this list – British Racing Green. British Racing Green has an interesting origin – it harkens back to the Gordon Bennett Cup, a globally competitive race from the early 1900s. In the 1950s and 1960s, Lotus and Aston Martin brought the color to mainstream fame, and it was later re-popularized by Jaguar in Formula One. British Racing Green has appeared on M5s, M3s, and everything in between as an Individual color selection – and it looks great. For best results, combine with a Tartufo or Cognac interior.
What About Yours?
This is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s so many great colors in BMW’s catalog, I probably missed dozens! What are some of your favorites?