June 19, 2024
Motorsports

BMW’s 20th Art Car Speeds Towards Le Mans with a 215-mph Paint Job

BMW journeyed to Paris, France, to reveal its 20th art car in the series that began in 1975. The first art car was created by French pilot Hervé Poulain, making the location choice significant. The latest art car will compete in France at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Most of BMW’s art cars have been based on race cars, with the exception of Matazo Kayama’s 1990 535i (E34). The 20th art car continues this tradition, with Ethiopian-born American artist Julie Mehretu using the M Hybrid V8 LMDh car as her canvas. The design draws inspiration from Mehretu’s abstract paintings, featuring dot grids, neon-colored veils, and black markings.

“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?’ The idea was to make a remix, a mash-up of the painting. I kept seeing that painting kind of dripping into the car. Even the kidneys of the car inhaled the painting,” Mehretu explained.

Mehretu’s art car will be one of two M Hybrid V8s competing in the 2024 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It marks BMW’s return to the race’s prototype class after a 25-year absence. Numbered 20, Mehretu’s creation will be driven by Sheldon van der Linde, Robin Frijns, and René Rast. The second car (#15) will feature BMW M’s standard race livery.

Both cars boast a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain, combining a 4.0-liter V8 engine with an electric motor. The system produces 640 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, enabling the M Hybrid V8 to reach speeds of up to 215 mph depending on the track.

The 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans commences on June 15, with BMW facing competition from Lamborghini, Toyota, Porsche, Ferrari, and Cadillac.

FAQ

Q: What is the inspiration behind Julie Mehretu’s art car design?

A: Julie Mehretu’s design draws inspiration from her abstract paintings, featuring dot grids, neon-colored veils, and black markings.

Conclusion

The unveiling of BMW’s 20th art car in Paris marks a significant milestone in the series that began in 1975. Julie Mehretu’s unique design for the M Hybrid V8 LMDh car brings a fusion of art and racing, promising an exciting entry in the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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