AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Best known for his stainless steel balloon animal sculptures, American artist Jeff Koons’ latest creation is a brightly colored 1:18 scale model of the BMW M3 GT2.
In 2010, BMW approached Koons about designing an M3 GT2 as part of the automaker’s Art Car project. To ensure the applied graphics wouldn’t affect its aerodynamics and to ensure he modeled the air inlets and wings correctly, Koons met with BMW’s head of design Adrian van Hooydonk. After working with Hooydonk, Koons decided to go to work on the scale model. The mini M3 GT2 sports a streaky multi-colored coat and sits on an acrylic platform with a transparent top (so you can see what’s inside the car).
The scale model Art Car retails for $224 each and you can buy it starting in December through the BMW Shop.
Last night in Paris, BMW unveiled a very expensive and very fast piece of art – a custom M3 GT2 Art Car created by American artist Jeff Koons. The colorful design is inspired says Koons by classic race cars, graphics and explosions which is, “evocative of power, motion and bursting energy.”
On display at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, BMW will soon give this piece of art a proper thrashing at the hands of drivers Andy Priaulx, Dirk Müller and Dirk Werner during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That’s right, this Bimmer isn’t just a piece of modern art – it’s fast, very fast. In fact, it’s fully prepped for the track and powered by a 4.0-liter V8 engine that makes 500-hp.
We’ll be sure to bring you an update on how the car does during the race, which takes place from June 12-13.
GALLERY: BMW M3 GT2 Art Car by Jeff Koons
Official release after the jump:
After pulling from the series in 1992, BMW has announced a tentative return to the DTM touring-car series in 2012. BMW is planning to build a new race car based on the current M3 – which would ideally also be able to run in Japan’s Super GT series and the American Grand-Am series.
The BMW race car must meet certain unspecified regulations and if it does so, will see BMW take on German rivals Audi and Mercedes – which are currently the only two manufacturers in the series. Back in 1992, BMW pulled out of the DTM series due to a dispute over its E36 3-Series race car. Before that, BMW won the DTM Championship three times, once in 1987 and once in 1989 with the original E30 3 Series and once back in 1984 with the 635CSi.
BMW board member Dr. Klaus Draeger commented that with the withdrawal from Formula One, BMW has decided to make an increased presence in road racing. “BMW sports and touring cars have achieved success right around the world, and have significantly influenced the brand’s sporting profile right from the word go. For that reason, we see it as a consistent step to return to our roots after bidding farewell to Formula One, and to expand our commitment to this discipline.”
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen commented that the M3 GT2 (above) currently used in several series (including the American Le Mans Series) will continue to be the focus on the BMW motorsports program next year.
Official release after the jump: