BMW introduces $300,000 paint job option
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BMW has unveiled one of the most lavish options available on a new car today – bodywork painted by an artist whose works sell for millions of dollars.
Jeff Koons, an American artist famous for work including enormous stainless steel sculptures of balloon animals, has linked with BMW to create a second “art car” for the luxury brand.
Koons’ first BMW won the attention of car lovers around the world in 2010, when the brand went racing at Le Mans with a BMW M3 painted in an explosive livery.
That car is part of BMW’s museum collection.
But BMW’s follow-up act is available to customers at an eye-watering price.
Based on the latest BMW M850i Gran Coupe, a V8-powered luxury sedan that sells for about $194,000 drive-away in Australia, “THE 8 X JEFF KOONS” has a bold look that won’t be mistaken for regular models.
Adorned in bold shapes and bright colours selected by the artist, Koons says the M850i has is “sporty and flashy as well as minimalist and conceptual”.
“On the car, the lines are getting bigger on their journey from the hood towards the trunk, creating a sense of forward movement just as the “POP!” and the vapour thrust design elements do,” he says.
“The blue colour resembles the vastness of space and I like the idea of the car being a global car.”
The design is carefully applied over the course of more than 200 hours of painting, sanding and masking by trade experts.
Which is why the 99 examples sold to the public aren’t cheap.
BMW New Zealand has not listed a local price for the machine, which will be sold for US$350,995 ($485,500) in the United States.
BMW sells the standard M850i Gran Coupe in the US for US$101,400 drive-away ($140,000), which puts the Koons treatment at a premium of more than $300,000.
While that is a lot of cash, art collectors might see it as good value, as Koons’ work sells for a premium.
A “balloon dog” made by Koons broke the record price for a single work produced by a living artist, attracting US$58.4 million at auction in 2013.