BMW has unveiled its all-new rolling work of art – the 8 Series X Jeff Koons. As the badge suggests, this is a special edition Series 8 born out of a partnership with American artist Jeff Koons, best known for his creative depictions of everyday objects. His most famous works are the “Rabbit” and “Balloon Dog” sculptures.
While the 8 Series X Jeff Koons certainly looks like one of BMW’s art cars, the company is adamant that it isn’t, because it’s not a race car, it will not be kept in the brand’s private collection and it is not. t a one-off. There are 99 examples available for the public to purchase.
BMW’s art car tradition dates back nearly half a century to 1975, when the company’s motorsport boss commissioned Alexander Calder to design the livery of the race-prepared 3.0 CSL. Koons himself has also created an official Art Car in the past, in the form of the M3 GT2 entered by BMW Motorsport in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.
For its latest partnership with BMW, Koons has created a pop art-inspired livery for the 8 Series Gran Coupe, which the company says is the “most elaborate vehicle” it has produced in its 106-year history. history, not least because the lairy exterior is complemented by a completely redesigned cabin.
BMW is also keen to point out that it takes over 200 hours to apply the finish paint. So even though the firm’s paint shop is working hard, it can only finish four cars a week.
Following the same conventions as the comic book-inspired exterior, the cabin is trimmed in a mix of Spiderman-style red and blue leather upholstery. Jeff Koons has also put his signature around the cabin, with plaques hidden in the cup holder and on the owner’s manual jacket in the glove box. Each vehicle will also come with a large Certificate of Authenticity signed by Koons and BMW boss Oliver Zipse.
Beneath the artistic makeover is a regular BMW 850i xDrive Gran Coupé. No mechanical changes have been made, which means the art car is powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing 522hp and 750Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and 0-100 km/h is handled in less than four seconds.
BMW has yet to release a price for this special edition 8 Series, but given that Koons’ ‘Rabbit’ sculpture has sold for over $91m (about £67m) the latest once it goes up for auction, it will be anything but cheap.
The first example will be auctioned in April, at Christie’s in New York, with all proceeds from the highest bid going to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The remaining 98 cars will be sold directly by BMW with pricing on request.
Now click here to check out BMW’s previous art car – a specially commissioned version of the M6 GTLM by John Baldessari…