BMW Returns To Le Mans With Julie Mehretu's Graffiti-Inspired Art Car

by AutoExpert   |  23 May, 2024

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New from BMW is this Art Car, which takes design cues from the Graffiti movement. Even more thrilling is the fact that it will add some spice to the 24 Hours of Le Mans field next month, which is even more thrilling.

Based on the M Hybrid V8, this electric endurance racer signifies BMW's return to the premier class; the factory team hasn't participated at Le Mans's top level since their victory 25 years ago. Premiering at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France, the #20 BMW M Hybrid V8 is the 20th BMW Art Car in the company's history.

BMW

American designer Julie Mehretu, who has won the McArthur Fellowship and the Medal of Arts from the United States Department of State, created the vehicles. She joins the ranks of illustrious artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jeff Koons, who have made contributions to BMW's initiative. Taking design cues from her artwork "Everytime," Mehretu gave the BMW M Hybrid V8 its distinctive three-dimensional curves by applying a two-dimensional pattern.

BMW

“In the studio where I had the model of the BMW M Hybrid V8, I was just sitting in front of the painting, and I thought, ‘What would happen if this car seemed to go through that painting and becomes affected by it?’” That was what Mehretu was saying. The technique involved using 3D mapping technology to apply the outside foil to the hypercar racer, which had a complex-shaped design.

BMW

After making an appearance at Italy's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este on the shores of Lake Como, the BMW M Hybrid V8 Art Car will compete in the legendary 24-hour race on June 15th. René Rast, Robin Frijns, and Sheldon van der Linde will be the work drivers in the #20 vehicle. Mehretu believes that we should treat the automobile as a work of performance art, not just a showpiece. She explains, “My BMW Art Car was created in close collaboration with motorsport and engineering teams. It is only completed once the race is over.”

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