BMW unveils 'black' car 'world's darkest'

German carmaker BMW is developing a blacker than black version of its X6 model. This prototype will use Vantablack technology, a pigment that absorbs 99.9% of the light.

After revealing a hybrid car concept, debauched Hans Zimmer to compose the sound of future electric BMWs, the German automaker is now developing a black-clad vehicle. BMW is expected to present its first Vehicle in Vantablack at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the US business website Fast Company has announced. Vantablack is a material composed of nanotubes absorbing almost all of the light, already used in the aerospace environment. It gives the illusion of a perfect black, stealthy, without reflection or contours. The official renderings of this new vehicle give it the appearance of a two-dimensional moving object. This car is entirely vantablack, with the exception of a few elements such as wheels, rims and windows. On the highway, it would look like a vortex in perpetual motion.

The prospect of a machine of this magnitude on the road is not very reassuring. A black vehicle is in fact much less visible than a white vehicle; the risk of accidents is therefore greater. A study conducted by the Monash University Accident Research Centre in Australia, indicates that the crash rate was 12% higher for black vehicles. An object as stealthy as a 2D car running at more than 100km/h is likely to increase this figure.

To reassure you, a BMW spokesperson told Fast Company that "the vehicle was not designed for road testing, and has not yet seen the light of day. But we'll probably test it on our test fields to see how it reacts/what it looks like out of a hangar." Another positive point is that BMW expects a slightly more reflective pigment than Vantablack as we know it.  If for now, the BMW VBX6 (VB for Vantablack) is only a demonstration prototype, the German automotive giant hopes to integrate the Vantablack into its future designs, if the experience generates demand.

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