This BMW X6 Is the Most Blacked-Out Car Ever

Shut it down, folks, this Vantablack-coated BMW is as black as cars can get.

Fans of matte black, murdered-out style take note: There's a new black paint on the scene that makes your car pale in comparison. (Also note that the trend is well and truly played out. But we digress.) Called Vantablack, the coating was engineered to be the blackest black known to science. Now, for the first time, it has been applied to a car; the new BMW X6 is the initial recipient of this stealthy treatment. Insert Spinal Tap reference.

Vantablack, an acronym for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array, was originally developed for aerospace applications, such as highly sensitive cameras which need minimal light interference to spot distant stars. Comprised of carbon nanotubes 5,000 times thinner than a human hair, Vantablack almost completely absorbs light and reflects nearly zero back. When applied to solid surfaces, the result is an intense matte black that can boggle the mind. Vantablack-painted objects are perceived as two-dimensional, as defining edges or features are obscured by the void-like darkness.

Indeed, by the photos of this X6, it's somewhat hard to tell what you're looking at. In profile, you can tell what it is, but you really have to squint to make out a semblance of a curve or crease. In contrast, Vantablack only enhances the brightness of the X6's signature LED headlights and tacky illuminated grille. It's unclear why this particular vehicle has been fitted with knobby all-terrain tires, but there they are.

Undoubtedly, this X6 is blacker than any car before, far more so than BMW's earlier Vader-esque offerings. Vantablack takes matte-black panache to new depths, but those who want the look on their cars shouldn't rush to the paint shop. This X6 is purely a one-off, as Vantablack is not yet durable enough for use in real-world driving. However, it's already being used for smaller automotive applications, particularly in laser-based sensors for various driver-assist and semi-autonomous systems. It seems we'll have to wait a while before we see—or don't see—Vantablack-painted cars on the road.

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