The BMW X6 Vantablack Is a Real Thing...If You Can See It
One of the wildest cars you’ll see in Frankfurt is ready for its close upby Kirby Garlitos, on
BMW officially debuted the 2020 BMW X6 two months ago, but its public debut will only take place at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. As if on cue, photos of the 2020 X6 in Frankfurt have popped up, even if it’s nearly impossible to make out the SUV with the color it’s wearing. If you’ve ever seen the 2020 BMW X6 wearing the Vantablack VBx2 coating, you know how trippy it gets.
The Vantablack VBx2 coating is so black it’s hard to even describe it. But it’s not someone’s figment of the imagination anymore. The 2020 BMW X6 Vantablack is a real thing, and we’re going to see it in the flesh in Frankfurt for the very first time. Like most people, I don’t know what to expect out of it when it shows up. What I do know is I want to see it, as I’m sure most people want to, as well.
I’ve seen a lot of interesting cars debut at auto shows, but I don’t think I’ve seen one created to this extent. This isn’t a concept car. This isn’t a full-fledged world debut. Heck, it’s not even an aftermarket project. It’s the 2020 BMW X6, an SUV that Bimmer already unveiled two months ago. Still, it’s making its public debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, and that still counts for something. But it’s rare for a model in this position — especially an all-new model like the 2020 X6 — to showcase something that BMW plans to use for its future developmental prototypes.
This is the 2020 BMW X6 Vantablack. Normally, a model that debuts at an auto show as big as Frankfurt is cast in the spotlight for the auto world to see for the first time. In some ways, that holds true for the 2020 X6. We’re seeing it in public for the first time, and we should get to know more about the coupe-crossover now that it’s here. But the 2020 X6 Vantablack is different. It’s different because the model itself is taking a backseat to the paint it’s wearing. Yes, the highlight of this particular 2020 X6 isn’t the actual X6, but the Vantablack VBx2 coating it’s wearing.
Now, I’m not too immersed in the world of paint technology to know what’s so special about a specific shade. In my head, most of them just carry fancy names to buffer up their exclusive status. But the Vantablack VBx2 coating is different.
It’s different because Bimmer partnered with Surrey Nano Systems and creative Levitation 29 to bring this color to life.
It’s different because the result of these partnerships is the world’s blackest color. Let me repeat that: Vantablack VBx2 is the world’s blackest color.
Granted, there’s probably a pinch of hyperbole attached to that claim. That’s often the case when someone haphazardly throws superlatives around. But, best I can tell, there’s nothing haphazard about the Vantablack VBx2 coating. The color, according to BMW, was created as an alternative to all the swirly camouflage wraps we often see on prototypes. The goal, also according to BMW, is to create a cover to make the company’s future prototype vehicles — the same ones we see on the road and the subjects of all the spy photos we take and receive — impossible to discern.
I haven’t seen the X6 Vantablack in the flesh, but as far as photos of the high-performance coupe-crossover are concerned, the German automaker achieved the desired effect of using the coating to cover the 2020 X6. It’s incredibly difficult to make out the profile and design details of the coupe crossover. We can see the X6’s headlamps, fog lamps, kidney grille, windows, and wheels, but that’s only because they’re not covered in the Vantablack coating that the rest of the X6’s body is. The result is insanely trippy.
All the character lines, creases, and body shapes of the all-new X6 are still there; we just can’t see them.
What we can see is a black void that makes the coupe-crossover look two-dimensional. We don’t know where specific panels start and where they end. We just see black, black, and lots more black.
Mind you, this isn’t an illusion, even though it would probably be more awesome if it was. The Vantablack coating supposedly absorbs 99.96 percent of visible light, making it almost mathematically impossible for any form of light to bounce off the paint. The result is as stunning as it is mesmerizing. It looks like you’re staring into the void of outer space. Fortunately — or is it unfortunately? — the Vantablack coating won’t be available in any production version of the X6. I understand how different it looks, but I don’t think it’s going to pass regulatory outfits, especially in cases where you’re driving an X6 with the Vantablack coating at night. You literally won’t be able to see it from the back unless the brake lights are engaged.
Don’t let that dissuade you from looking into the all-new BMW X6, though. Vantablack coating aside, the third-generation X6 adopts the aesthetics of the equally new X5 and wraps it all up in a sloping, coupe-like body, giving the model its coupe-crossover profile. The all-new X6 also comes with a lineup of engine options. U.S. customers, in particular, can buy the coupe-crossover in either the rear-wheel-drive sDrive40i trim or the all-wheel-drive xDrive40i. Both trim options come with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine that produces 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. If you want something more potent, the X6 M50i is available with a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. All U.S.-spec versions of the 2020 X6 are also equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Pricing starts at $65,290, including the $995 destination fee for the 2020 BMW X6 sDrive40i. Meanwhile, the 2020 BMW xDrive40i starts at $67,595 with the same add-ons while the non-M flagship 2020 BMW M50i starts at $86,465. Expect the all-new 2020 BMW X6 to arrive in dealerships and showrooms around November. Just don’t expect any of them to be available in the Vantablack coating.
|2020 BMW X6 sDrive40i||$64,300|
|2020 BMW X6 xDrive40i||$66,600|
|2020 BMW X6 M50i||$85,650|
Read our full review on the 2020 BMW X6.