To be revealed at Frankfurt motor show, the model has been finished in ‘Vantablack’ paint by Newhaven-based Surrey Nanosystems. The non-reflective colour can make an object appear two-dimensional and, as a result, is “a rather unsuitable vehicle paint finish” according to BMW.
Asked why the new X6 will be painted in this way, the model’s designer, Hussein Al Attar, said: “Internally, we often refer to the BMW X6 as “The Beast.” I think that says it all.
“The Vantablack VBx2 finish emphasises this aspect and makes the BMW X6 look particularly menacing. Moreover, the BMW X6 has always been the most provocative and in-your-face model in our portfolio. So why not emphasise this even further, with a finish that simply captivates the viewer’s attention?”
‘Vanta’ stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array, and refers to the microscopic carbon structure that forms the basis of the finish. Each strand is 5000 times thinner than a human hair, at 14-50 micrometers long and 20 nanometers in diameter.
Each square centimetre of the one-off X6 contains around 1 billion nanotubes, which absorb rather than reflect light, and effectively convert it to heat.
The technology was originally designed for use in space exploration; its propensity to reduce glare and bleaching means it is suitable for coating aluminium and optical components.