BMW has meandered in and out of Formula One over the years. The last time it competed was in 2009, when it parted ways with the Sauber team it had bought a few years before. The company’s Art Car program, however, has been more consistent. And some of them have even raced.
These renderings envision what it would look like if the Bavarian automaker’s considerable artistic commissions appeared on modern grand prix racers. Their new form marks a definite departure from the various vehicles on which they have over the course of the program’s decades-long history. And the results, as you can see, are rather intriguing.
The program, for those unfamiliar, dates back to 1975. That’s when French racing driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain commissioned American artist Alexander Calder to apply his talents to a BMW 3.0 CSL. Poulain drove the car at Le Mans that year. While he failed to finish the race, a creative tradition was started.
In the 43 years since, BMW has commissioned sixteen more from a list of notable artists including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons. Their work has appeared on vehicles as varied as the M1, 635 CSi, Z4, and even the V12 LMR prototype. And many of them have followed in the original’s tracks onto the racing circuit. But not in F1.
To our eyes, though, they look just as beautiful on open-wheel, open-cockpit, single-seat racers – last year’s crop, as best we can tell, before the controversial halo was implemented. They’ve been speculatively applied by livery designer Sean Bull, and shared via Behance. But you can check them out in the gallery below.