Jeff Koons and BMW are reuniting over a decade after the famous American artist created the seventeenth BMW Art Car, a striking E92 M3 GT2 that would go on to race at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. The latest project won’t be another BMW Art Car, but it will be an artistic take on the M850i Gran Coupé produced on a limited basis. The 8 x Jeff Koons, as BMW is referring to the project and special model, is slated to be unveiled by the automaker and Jeff Koons at the Frieze Los Angeles art fair during February of 2022.
“I am very proud to announce a new partnership with Jeff Koons. And let me say: I love what he has come up with!” said Oliver Zipse, chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG. “The M850i xDrive Gran Coupé is as close to our hearts as any BMW, and Koons’ design of the car is full of joy and passion. Ever since we relaunched our collaboration, Koons has said that he’s proud to be back with the BMW family. Dozens of engineers and designers have given their all to celebrate our partnership and make his vision come true. Welcome back, Jeff Koons!”
BMW has dropped only subtle hints as to what the BMW M850i Gran Coupé by Jeff Koons will look like, but one interesting detail is that it will take approximately 285 hours to apply the handcrafted, multi-layer paint finish to each example. The exterior design is said to be comprised of eleven different colors including yellow, black, silver, and blue to name a few, and will also feature elements of the pop art that Koons is known for, along with geometric patterns and shapes which accentuate the M850i Gran Coupé’s contours. The artful treatment continues within the cabin, in which fine leather in BMW’s iconic M tricolor lines the seats, and Koons’ signature is engraved near special edition badging on one of the cupholders.
“I am thrilled and honored about the opportunity to work with BMW again and to create a limited edition car,” said Jeff Koons. “I was thinking very intensely about it: what is the essence of the M850i xDrive Gran Coupé? What is the essence of power? How can I create something that exemplifies all the energy of the BMW 8 Series that is also able to touch upon the human element? It’s just a wonderful opportunity to be working as part of the BMW family again.”
“What better artist to collaborate with on the M850i xDrive Gran Coupé?” Asked Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. “Luxury and elegance are best evoked in a masterpiece of artistry, immersing us in something precious to behold. We are always looking for great minds who think alike—who extend the limits of aesthetics and perception in their very own fields. It is a true pleasure to jointly create that experience together with Jeff Koons, one of the greatest artists of our time.”
Jeff Koons was responsible for the design of the seventeenth BMW Art Car, an E92 M3 GT2 which became an icon the moment it was unveiled. The Jeff Koons M3 GT2 reached its proverbial apex at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, where its fast-moving livery was appreciated at full speed around the Circuit de la Sarthe.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]