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Just How Black Can A Black BMW Be?

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Vantablack. That's how black a black BMW can be.

If you need to stealth your way through the shadows, this is the car for you. If you're someone that manages to lose their car in a parking lot late at night, this is definitely not the car for you.

What you're looking at is the one-off BMW X6 Vantablack. Developed by a company called NanoSystems in the UK, Vantablack is the darkest man-made substance in the world. It absorbs all but 0.035% of the light that connects with it and, when looked at through the human eye, objects coated with the substance lose their defining features.

via BMW
via BMW
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Vantablack was originally developed for use in "satellite-borne blackbody calibration systems," which must mean something to someone. However, it's used for other applications as well, including architecture, and can be used cleverly to create optical effects when it's applied to a three-dimensional object.

The substance can make objects look 2-dimensional, smaller than they are, or help them become invisible to the naked eye completely. Used as a paint, Vantablack is generally unsuitable vehicle paint finish as it blocks out virtually all the design details and highlights. And some of you will be way ahead of us here when we wonder why BMW painted everything on the X6 instead of just the grill.

via BMW
via BMW
via BMW

Sarcasm aside, BMW claims the new Vantablack paint finish, known as VBx2, "highlights the expressive design language and confident, dominant and muscular appearance of the new BMW X6 to perfection." That's because this specific paint is developed for architectural and scientific purposes, and has a one-percent total hemispherical reflectance. That means it's still considered "super black" while enabling a small amount of reflection from every angle. The result is that the shape of the X6 being defined much stronger than the details, to the point it does almost look like it's 2-dimensional.

Why does it really exist? To remind us that the new X6 will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

via BMW
via BMW

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