First Digital BMW Art Car Is A Virtual Masterpiece

Race Car

This has to be the most innovative BMW Art Car yet.

Since launching in 1976, the BMW Art Car program has seen some weird and wonderful creations from talented artists. This 18th BMW Art Car designed by artist Cao Fei, who happens to be the youngest and first Chinese artist to create a BMW Art Car, is arguably the most innovative yet. It’s being branded as the first digital BMW Art Car, incorporating virtual and augmented reality technology to represent future industry trends such as autonomous driving, flying cars and digitalization, as well as “the speed of change in China, on tradition and future.“

The project, which took three years to create, is brought to life with three components: a bare black carbon fiber, 577-hp BMW M6 GT3 race car, a short film about a "time-traveling spiritual practitioner", and a free app incorporating virtual and augmented reality elements. The non-reflective carbon body of the M6 race car was deliberately chosen to blend seamlessly with the digital elements to enhance the immersion. When the app is activated next to the car, swirls of light surround the BMW in augmented reality. Not only does it look dazzling, it represents an Asian spiritual ceremony "in which new objects such as automobiles are being blessed, in this case wishing good luck to car and driver."

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“To me, light represents thoughts,” the artist explains. “As the speed of thoughts cannot be measured, the #18 Art Car questions the existence of the boundaries of the human mind. We are entering a new age, where the mind directly controls objects and where thoughts can be transferred, such as unmanned operations and artificial intelligence. Which attitudes and temperaments hold the key to opening the gateway to the new age?” What do you make of this artist’s innovative approach to BMW Art Cars? We’d argue it's more appealing and memorable than the last BMW Art Car, which was blasphemously bland.