For motorheads, cars have always been regarded as art.
There are few things as aesthetically pleasing as a car that knows a thing or two about the golden ratio (think Aston Martin), or one that knows just how to catch the light every single time (we’re looking at you, Porsche).
There’s also something to be said about cars that marry functional design, an insane amount of power, and actual street art, especially if it’s by one of the most prolific artists of our time. This year, the honour of designing BMW’s Art Car goes to American graffiti artist Leonard Hilton McGurr, or Futura 2000, whose abstract approach to the medium has earned him gallery showings alongside Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The 64-year-old has also designed backdrops for The Clash and designs his own clothing under the label Futura Laboratories in Fukuoka, Japan.
BMW isn’t stranger to tapping into the creative minds of pop and street artists — Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Roy Lichtenstein count amongst them — but this time it is different. Futura 2000’s BMW M2 Edition will finally be more approachable and accessible to the consumer.
Instead of the usual one-off, the artist will be commissioned with designing three. According to CEO of BMW M, Markus Flasch, two will likely be auctioned and the last will be kept for the archives. Yet the best news is the fact that an additional 500 cars will also have their rocker panels front and rear bumpers rendered in the same moody monochromatic print.
Naturally, the collaborative M2 Art Car made its debut at Frieze Los Angeles 2020, and all three of the hand-painted rides were on display. Futura 2000’s signature aesthetic of dripping paint, speckled flecks, and cloudy spray-painted motifs took centre stage here, and to match, the cars saw a glossy black grille, dark-tinted windows, and a set of murdered-out rims. The colourway continued within, alongside an individually created Futura 2000 design on the centre console and his signature.
If you still need convincing, the BMW M2 Competition will be powered by a twin-turbocharged, six-cylinder that churns 410hp and manages a 0-100kph time of 4.2 seconds. Expect the same refined athleticism to be experienced from this car. It is, after all, a pedigree, only now in a guise truly fit for the streets.