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BMW celebrates 24 Hours of Le Mans return with new Art Car

The M Hybrid V8 is the 20th in the series

The 20th Art Car is designed by Julie Mehretu. PHOTO FROM BMW

BMW has a history of decorating its race cars in special liveries. These are known as the Art Cars, designed by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.

It all started back in 1975 with a BMW 3.0 CSL designed by Alexander Calder. That car was fielded in that same year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. As they say, the rest is history.

And here we are 49 years later. With the automaker’s plans to participate in the legendary race with its M Hybrid V8 race car this June, what’s more fitting than having the Le Mans Hypercar dressed up as another Art Car?

All the wear and tear this car will experience is part of the Art Car's visual design. PHOTOS FROM BMW

Art Car number 20 is designed by Ethiopian-born Julie Mehretu, and she describes it as a “performative painting.”

This abstract design was created in collaboration with the motorsport and engineering teams, with a series of superimposed edited photos, dot grids, black lines, and neon colors reflecting Mehretu’s artworks, as if the car physically drove through her artworks and they were all plastered on the body.

But the most interesting thing about this is that it is an unfinished artwork, meaning that what you will be seeing at the end of the race is the finished product, complete with the bug splatters, the nicks, the scratches, and the asphalt all being part of the car’s design.

Are you rooting for this at the 24 Hours of Le Mans? PHOTO FROM BMW

This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place from June 15 to 16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France.

This Bavarian beast with a 4.0-liter V8 engine and a hybrid motor will be duking it out with hypercars from Cadillac, Porsche, Ferrari, Toyota, Lamborghini, Alpine, Peugeot, and Isotta.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.