In the absence of light, darkness prevails. That’s never rung truer than with this Frankfurt-bound BMW X6 coated in Vantablack; the darkest material Earth and blackest black known to mankind. Perfect for your friends who keep reminding everyone their souls are black.
So, what exactly is Vantablack? You can’t really call it a colour because it’s more of the absence of light and not a traditional colour of black that we’re familiar with. Labelling it a material is more accurate.
Created by Surrey NanoSystems, the first five letters are actually an acronym that describes the material; Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array. Developed for scientific purposes and space-borne instruments, the material comprises carbon nanotubes with a length of 14-50 micrometres and a diamtere of 20 nanometres. For the laymen, that’s about 5,000 times thinner than a strand of human hair.
As the name suggests, the tubes are aligned vertically and about a billion of them can be fitted in a square centimeter. Almost all light that hits the surface is completely absorbed rather than reflected. Vantablack absorbs 99.96 per cent of light. Hence the weird impression of the object appearing two-dimensional and lacking any details, like a vehicle that you’ve yet to unlock in Need for Speed… except in real life.
If you’re wondering why they did it, well so are we. It reminds us of that classic scene from Jurassic Park where Jeff Goldblum’s character lets out the iconic line, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.”
BMW though seems to think it actually “highlights the expressive design language and confident, dominant and muscular appearance” of the X6 according to their press release. Hell, even the wheels appear grey compared with the body.
Well, if people bought an X6 to know what staring into the depths of a black hole is like then yes… they nailed it. But we believe most people buy one to, you know… get around in style. Either way, you can catch it at the Frankfurt Motor Show if you can find in even.