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The Vantablack BMW X6 dons a slightly darker black

Vantablack is the darkest pigment ever created, and BMW decided to paint an X6 in this hue.

It's a real shame I used Spinal Tap's "none more black" joke a few weeks ago, but then again, who could have predicted this?
Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

When an automaker wants to tease a new vehicle, it'll usually wrap the car in camouflage, which obscures its most interesting details, leaving everyone (ideally) champing at the bit for more. For the Frankfurt Motor Show and the release of the third-gen BMW X6, the German automaker took a slightly different approach.

BMW this week unveiled a third-generation X6 covered in Vantablack. While nearly every corner of the car is obscured, it's pretty easy to make out the roofline and the grille, the latter of which is illuminated because that's the world we live in now. Not that it matters, because the X6 debuted ahead of the Vantablack model's debut.

If you're not familiar with Vantablack, it's the creation of Surrey NanoSystems. This vehicle was covered in the Vantablack VBx2 spray-on coating, which is used for architectural and scientific applications. It reflects just 1% of the light sent its way, removing an item's three-dimensional appearance and making you feel like you're staring into a black hole. It achieves this reflectivity by using carbon nanotubes in vertical alignment, which absorbs nearly all light, converting it to heat. And it works: I can't see a damn thing in that top photo, save for some tiny angles along the bottom of the bumper.

Here's what the X6 looks like with a normal shade of black paint. All the details are still there. Vantablack is a whole 'nother universe.


Like the X5 before it, the X6 is available with I6 and V8 gas powertrains, and a plug-in hybrid could sneak its way in there, too. As with previous generations, it wouldn't be obscene to expect a hi-po X6 M variant in the future, but that one is likely a year away at the earliest.

Even though it won't be made available for purchase in Vantablack, BMW intends to shove the SUV into showrooms in November, seeing as how its X5 sibling has been on sale for some time now. Like its predecessors, the third-generation X6 will be built at BMW's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. 

Originally published Aug. 28
Update, Sept. 10: Adjusted language to reflect the X6's prior debut.

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