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BMW will unveil the third-generation X6 and a 'one-off' vehicle with a Vantablack paint finish at the upcoming Frankfurt Motorshow. Vantablack is a rather unsuitable vehicle paint finish, as it blots out virtually all the design details and highlights.
The BMW X6 is the world's first and only vehicle to feature a Vantablack VBx2 paint finish. The Vantablack material is known for it's light absorbing characteristics. It absorbs up to 99.96% of visible light and is one of the darkest substances known to mankind.
This exclusive BMW X6 is the result of a collaboration between BMW and Surrey NanoSystems, and will be used only as a show car. With the Vantablack paint the only distinctive bits that can be seen from the X6 are the glowing kidney grille, the headlamps, and the tail-lamps.
Ben Jensen, founder and Chief Technical Officer of Surrey NanoSystems explains, "We turned down numerous requests from various automobile manufacturers in the past, and it took the BMW X6 and its unique, expressive design for us to entertain the idea."
The human eye perceives Vantablack as two-dimensional; and the new BMW X6 provides fascinating contrasts to offset the Vantablack VBx2 finish, which changes the viewer's visual perception of an object's three-dimensional shape.
This coating can be sprayed on to a surface, and has a one per cent total hemispherical reflectance. This means it is considered "super black" while enabling a small amount of reflection from every angle.
The reason this paint is not used very often is because materials seem to lose their three-dimensional appearance as demonstrated impressively on the BMW X6.
VANTA stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array, a matrix made out of carbon. The reason light is not reflected is that the carbon elements are closely packed, and they absorb any light striking the surface, effectively converting it into heat. The carbon elements on the paint is thinner than the human hair.
The first generation of Vantablack was introduced in 2014 by Surrey NanoSystems. The first version could absorb to 99.965 per cent of light, almost completely eliminating reflectance and stray light. The Vantablack can also help with observing faint stars and distant galaxies making it very high-tech and exquisite.
Apart from this, the BMW X6 features a 3.0-litre, turbocharged six-cylinder engine making 300bhp of power and 407Nm of torque. The xDrive50i trades that for a turbo 4.4-litre V8 that produces 443bhp of power and 650Nm of torque. Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and BMW's xDrive AWD system.
Thoughts About The BMW X6 Vantablack
While most manufacturers call the same black by many names, BMW has raised the benchmark. They're bringing the darkest blackest X6 there is in the world and showing it off on home turf. The X6 looks absolutely stunning in Vantablack! Kinda reminds us of a 22nd Century Knight Rider listening to Back In Black on the radio.