2020 BMW X6 Vantablack Is Painted in ‘The World’s Blackest Black’

Vantablack VBx2 absorbs more than 99 percent of light and tricks our brains into seeing, well, nothing.

byChris Tsui|
BMW News photo

For reasons beyond our comprehension, BMW has painted a 2020 X6 in what is known as "the world's blackest black," Vantablack VBx2. Invented by Surrey NanoSystems, Vantablack absorbs over 99 percent of light, converting it into heat. We're not scientists but something tells us this isn't a car you wanna park outside in the summer sun for too long.

No, these aren't pictures of an X6 with its body photoshopped out but what Vantablack paint actually looks like. Because it reflects very little light, our brains see it as an empty hole or a void, almost completely absent of details and highlights which could make it a good camouflage for test mules.

Despite the lack of distinguishable features, BMW perplexingly says the Vantablack paint job "highlights the expressive design language and confident, dominant and muscular appearance of the new BMW X6 to perfection." Yeah, we don't get it either. 

In any case, the coupe-SUV you see (or don't see) here is a one-off that's headed to next month's Frankfurt Motor Show. Interestingly, BMW was far from the first car company to proposition Surrey NanoSystems with painting one of its products the blackest black there is. 

"To be honest, we received inquiries from most of the big-name automotive manufacturers, almost from the day we launched the original material in 2014, but we’d always said no," said Vantablack inventor Ben Jensen. "This was also due to the fact that we only had a suitable material once we came up with VBx2. When we were approached by BMW, we were still quite hesitant to begin with. But the new X6 looked so incredibly different that it just felt like a really good fit."


I mean, is it really a compliment to a car's design when the coolest enhancement you can make is to paint it in a color hides most of its design? To us, the whole Vantablack thing smells of attention-grabbing for attention grabbing's sake. X6 drivers are going to love it.