American artist Jeff Koons has lifted the covers off his specially designed BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupé.
The 8 X Jeff Koons sees the artist lending his artistic touch to BMW model, which he admits is his dream car. “I’ve wanted to create a special edition BMW for a long time,” says the artist. “It is sporty and flashy as well as minimalist and conceptual. I can’t wait to drive it and ride in it. And I hope that people will enjoy the Gran Coupé just as much as I do.”
This isn’t the first time Koons has used a BMW as a canvas. In 2010, he designed the 17th BMW Art Car in 2010, the BMW M3 GT2. That car also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. However, The 8 X Jeff Koons won’t be just a showpiece car. The German automaker is also making the exclusive edition model available for sale.
There will be a total of 99 of these uniquely designed M850i xDrive Gran Coupé cars made according to BMW. The 8 X Jeff Koons stands as the most elaborately designed vehicle in all of BMW’s history. It will be presented to a global audience for the first time on the occasion of Frieze Los Angeles.
Custom design and paint job
Koons explains that the lines on the car get bigger on their journey from the hood towards the trunk. “It creates a sense of forward movement just as the ‘POP!’ and the vapor thrust design elements do. The blue resembles the vastness of space. I also like the idea of the car being a global car,” he adds.
“What matters is how we relate to each other and our awareness of everything we are surrounded by. For the driver and all passengers, there is a heightened state of pleasure. This is what my car has to offer.”
BMW reveals that the exterior paint job alone took 200 hours of work time. The expressive and striking design combines eleven different exterior colours such as blue, silver, yellow and black.
Only four cars will be painted each week. The multi-coloured interior is comprised of high-end materials, fine leather and a cupholder cover with the artist’s signature. The seats are made up of the striking red and blue which reflects the colours of superheroes from the comic book universe as well as those of the company’s high-performance unit BMW M.
Overall, the energetic and powerful design includes both elements of pop art as well as geometric patterns paying homage to the sporty 8 Series Gran Coupe’s intricate contours and shape. The exploding lines of colour at the rear, in turn, are their own unmediated homage to the artist’s 2010 BMW Art Car, while the “POP!” on each side as well as the vapour thrust imagery symbolize the power and speed of The 8 X Jeff Koons according to the artist.
Signature art piece
Each vehicle comes with a large-format certificate signed by Jeff Koons, along with the individual Vehicle Identification Number of the respective vehicle. The artist also designed the dust jacket of the Driver’s Manual. One further signature of the artist is let into the cupholder panel.
The original BMW 850i was the first model of the 8 Series launched in 1990. It was celebrated as creating a new perspective of progress in advanced motoring, appealing to the connoisseur who acknowledges elegance and performance as the ultimate blend of perfection. The 8 X Jeff Koons also continues this tradition.
Initially, the model will be on display for the general public in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Plaza before one vehicle from the edition, signed on the tailgate by Jeff Koons, will be auctioned off at Christie’s in New York on April 4. All proceeds from the highest bid will go to the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC).
Following its world premiere, The 8 X Jeff Koons will be presented at numerous art fairs and events in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including the 16th Istanbul Contemporary, Paris Photo, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Art Dubai, West Bund Art & Design Fair Shanghai and Art Basel Hong Kong.
“Never before in the history of our company has a BMW been created with such an extensive design effort as The 8 X Jeff Koons,” explains Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Working with Jeff Koons again has inspired us all – throughout headquarters and across our plants in Germany. It serves as a ‘rolling sculpture’ that will not only be displayed as a coveted collector’s item in museums but will also be allowed to flourish on the road as a genuine BMW.”
This story first appeared Augustman Singapore.