The 20th BMW Art Car is inching closer as the world premiere has been confirmed to take place on May 21. The wraps are coming off at a special event to be held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris before the vehicle’s appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the famous Circuit de la Sarthe during the June 15-16 weekend. Penned by Julie Mehretu, the new Art Car is going to be based on the M Hybrid V8 endurance racer.
It’s worth noting this won’t be the first BMW Art Car to debut at the museum in Paris since Roy Lichtenstein’s 320i from 1977 and Jeff Koons’s M3 GT2 from 2010 were also formally unveiled at the complex building in the Beaubourg area. The artwork about the M Hybrid V8 will be exhibited between May 24-26 at the 2024 Concorso d’Eleganza at the Villa d’Este in Cernobbio.
Julie Mehretu follows other women artists who have been responsible for BMW Art Cars, starting with the 5 Series Sedan (E34, 525i) created by Esther Mahlangu as the #12 official BMW Art Car. Some will also remember the BMW V12 LMR by Jenny Holzer from 1999 and the more recent M6 GT3 by Cao Fei from 2017. Julie Mehretu has been working on the BMW M Hybrid V8 since 2023, initially on a 1/5-scale model before using a fullsize car near the end of last year. The new Art Car bearing the “20” racing number will be piloted at this year’s Le Mans by BMW works drivers Sheldon van der Linde, Robin Frijns, and René Rast. The Ethiopian American artist has also overseen designing their racing suits.
After participating in the grueling endurance race, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will embark on a world tour by visiting museums and other art venues. The car will wear a special film wrap co-created with Germany’s Race Spirit, which was also involved in designing Jeff Koons’s M3 GT2, the #17 BMW Art Car.