A one-off edition of the BMW X6 is the first vehicle to get decked out in the "world's blackest black."
The sinister finish's technical name is Vantablack VBx2. Because it can absorb up to 99.9 percent of light and virtually eliminates the reflection of rays, the super-black paint was first developed for space equipment to further enable the observation of distant stars and galaxies that stray light makes difficult to detect.
On the third-gen X6, which BMW dubs a "sports activity coupé", Vantablack enhances its kidney grille, angular headlights and sleek taillights. What's quite possibly the most menacing paint job ever also contributes to the new luxury ride's muscular demeanor.
A BMW press release has more details on how Vantablack technology works:
It contains an acronym of the technology enabling this superior black in its first two syllables, which stand for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array, a matrix made out of carbon.
Each of these carbon nanotubes has a length of 14 to 50 micrometers, with a diameter of 20 nanometers, making it around 5,000 times thinner than a human hair.
As a result, around a billion of these vertically aligned carbon nanotubes fit into one square centimeter. Any light striking this surface is almost completely absorbed rather than reflected, and effectively converted into heat.
According to BMW, this X6 is the first car to be covered in any Vantablack variant. Hussein Al-Attar, who designed the X6, says Vantablack opens up new doors for carmakers.
"We often prefer to talk about silhouettes and proportions rather than surfaces and lines," he said in a statement.
"The Vantablack VBx2 coating foregrounds these fundamental aspects of automotive design, without any distraction from light and reflections."
It's hard to tell in photos, but BMW claims that Vantablack also tricks the human eye into seeing objects as two-dimensional.
Anyone in attendance can judge for themselves at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, where the Vantablack-coated BMW X6 will be on display.