You know the times are changing when we must write about BMW’s so-called “Ape Car.” It’s a new 5 Series (G60) in the i5 M60 sporty electric guise on which several ape caricatures have been projected during ApeFest 2023. Confused? Allow us to explain. Held in Hong Kong, the event is dedicated to NFTs, an acronym for non-fungible tokens.

BMW joined forces with the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), which consists of members that have a collection of 10,000 Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the famous Bored Ape. These are well-known in the crypto community and you might have seen them on the occasional post on social media or on YouTube. BAYC was founded in early 2021 by crypto startup Yuga Labs and these NFTs have become extremely valuable since then.

BMW Hong Kong decided to cater to the NFT-loving crowd by bringing the i5 M60 to ApeFest 2023 and plastering it with bored apes for what the automaker refers to as a “digital wrap.” While this marketing decision may seem strange to some of us past a certain age, the numbers don’t lie. The German automaker is thriving, eclipsing its archrivals Mercedes and Audi in terms of sales in recent times. Demand is not showing signs of slowing down, so the big decisions taken at home in Munich appear to be working if we’re talking strictly about sales.

The i5 M60-based BMW Ape Car is sure to spark controversy among those of us who grew up in the golden “Ultimate Driving Machine” era. It reminds us of a different car that changed its appearance, the i Vision Dee concept unveiled in January 2023 at CES in Las Vegas. That one boasted the E Ink technology we originally saw on the 2022 iX Flow to change its body panels in up to 32 different colors.

Source: BMW / Instagram