BMW announced two weeks ago that graffiti artist Futura would be designing and hand-painting a special, limited-edition M2 Competition. If you recall, the brass from Munich stated that we would see a release of three original, hand-painted models by Futura, along with a very limited production run.
Just days ago, the new breathtaking design was revealed to the public, and it exceeded many enthusiasts’ expectations. If you’re not familiar with his work, Leonard Hilton McGurr, better known as Futura, is perhaps most well-known for his use of concentric circles, opposing geometries, and stylistic application of color. While having an M2 Competition as a medium isn’t exactly the same as a subway car or an industrial wall—canvases that McGurr is accustomed to working with—he quickly rose to the challenge and produced BMW’s next work of automotive art.
I’ll admit that I had my reservations at first. For me, the M2 is an exceptional example of BMW’s technological achievements and milestones within its M division over the past few years, and to re-paint such a modern day classic seemed almost taboo to me. However, I soon found my initial thoughts to be misguided. We’ve seen many, (perhaps even more) legendary cars, like the M1 and 3.0. CSL, undergo the creative knife as well, producing laudable works of art that were nothing short of museum-worthy. It would be ludicrous to assume that the M2 by Futura wouldn’t be just as stunning, or influential.
BMW’s newest Art Car officially debuted last week at the Frieze Art Fair in Los Angeles, where the public was able to really take in the manifestation of the future of the german automaker’s artistic collaborations.
The exterior of the M2 by Futura is cosmic. From afar, it bears resemblance to the texture and grain of marble, but upon closer inspection reveals that it is very much indeed a product of the artist’s creative genius. With little oversight from the M division, Futura was free to conceptualize and execute his creative vision using the multitude of resources at his disposal, including his own paint booth. Throughout the duration of the four-month long project, the graffiti pioneer utilized three to four coats of void-like black paint as his foundation for each exclusive hand-painted M2. Concentric circles, circular saw blades, and tasteful geometries played a huge part in the exterior design, showcasing the abstract dexterity with which McGurr is known for. The various patterns and silhouettes lining the exterior panels were painted in a stark, contrasting pure white paint—an aestheticized decision that paired well with the contrasting black foundation and nineteen-inch jet black light finished light-alloy wheels. While many enthusiasts remain divided over the finished product, one thing can be said with certainty—it is unique and distinguished, just like a BMW Art Car should be.
While the outer presentation highlights the M2’s boisterous, rebellious, track-minded personality, the interior is just as polarizing. The trim pieces, center console, and instrument panel were also hand-painted by Futura, utilizing the same paint as the exterior but instead opting for a more linear approach to its final aesthetic. The speciality interior pieces are also complemented by two-tone, black and ivory Dakota leather-clad M sport seats, and an upgraded smoky grey alcantara wheel. The finishing touch? The artist’s very own signature, signed on the door sills and accompanied by a limited edition number plaque, marking the M2 by Futura as BMW’s newest official Art Car.
The three original M2s, distinguishable by their M2 by Futura designation, will also be joined by a limited edition run, as aforementioned. Commissioned by BMW’s M division, the limited edition run will consist of 500 models inspired by Futura’s original design. Named the M2 Edition designed by Futura , no two models will be alike, as each will bear the dazzling design on front aprons, rear aprons, and side sills. The interior, like in the three original examples, will be hand-painted by Futura himself. While the pre-order online registration is available now, the special model will be available from June 2020 with an approximate price set around $69,000.
Though we’ve thoroughly enjoyed BMW’s Art Cars of the past, it is pretty revolutionary to see BMW producing its first ever limited-edition run of an Art Car, let alone opening it up for sale to the public. This means that we may, at some point, see a Futura M2 on the road—something very special indeed. Futura’s collaboration with BMW bridges the gap between both the art and the automotive worlds beautifully, proving that not all art has to be appreciated in a showcase. Now, it can be driven.—Malia Murphy
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]