Preview: BMW’s Future Art Car Inspired by M Hybrid V8 Le Mans Hypercar

Jule Mehretu’s Related Project Revealed Last Year

BMW and Jule Mehretu have successfully concluded their initial design studies for the upcoming BMW Art Car, set to be unveiled in May. As previously mentioned, BMW had announced their partnership with New York artist Mehretu last year, promising her complete artistic autonomy in creating the latest addition to their renowned collection of art-inspired automobiles.

The 20th edition of BMW Art Car will be unveiled at Centre Pompidou in Paris on May 21st. It will then race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the weekend of June 15-16th.This upcoming BMW Art Car marks a milestone as it will be the 20th one to be officially released. Set to debut at the Centre Pompidou in Paris on May 21st, this unique piece of automotive art will hit the track just under a month later. Taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the weekend of June 15-16th, this remarkable car will not only showcase its creative design, but also test its racing capabilities.

The most suitable way to approach the latest trend in art car racing is to understand its origins, which can be traced back to the inception of the world-renowned initiative. It all began when French racing driver Herve Poulain proposed the idea to BMW for the first art car in 1975, which was inspired by the iconic “Batmobile” 3.0 CSL.

BMW states that their design will feature elements such as “blurred images, dotted patterns, fluorescent spray paint, and Mehretu’s signature expressive markings, which bring a sense of abstraction to her design.” This multi-faceted visual concept is then transformed into a high-definition photograph and applied to the car through a 3D mapping process.

According to artist Julie Mehretu, the concept for her BMW Art Car didn’t fully take shape until she attended the 24 Hours race in Daytona last year. She explains, “I was contemplating Frank Stella’s grid and how it could pay homage to past BMW Art Car creators. As I gazed upon a painting I had recently completed in my studio, I noticed the model of the Art Car sitting nearby. It dawned on me that perhaps we could incorporate the car into the painting itself.”

Regrettably, “as per the guidelines set by the FIA, the 3D rendition of the artwork can exclusively be utilized on the BMW M Hybrid V8 with the use of a film wrap.” In order for this to come to fruition, the German Race Spirit team – the very same individuals responsible for the Jeff Koons Art Car – will be enlisted. Race Spirit had previously played a role in bringing to life the design conceived by Jeff Koons for the 17th BMW Art Car (an E92 BMW M3 GT2).

As previously stated, the latest art car will debut in France prior to its appearance at the Concorso d’Eleganza held at Villa d’Este in Cernobbio from May 24th to 26th. Following its showcase at Le Mans, the vehicle will embark on a global tour, making stops at various exhibitions and museums. Mehretu and BMW have also committed to collaborating until 2025, organizing art workshops in Africa.

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