A new collaboration with the cutting-edge outfit Acute Art will bring the world-famous BMW Art Car collection into the digital realm for the first time.

To celebrate more than 50 years of cultural engagement, the Art Cars will be shown in augmented reality through Acute Art.

It will mark the first time the rolling works of art are available digitally for everyone to enjoy — no matter where they are in the world.

The first 10 of the Art Cars are available to view now, with the remaining nine vehicles to be rolled out every two weeks until all 19 are available through the app.

Initiated by French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain and conceived in collaboration with founder of BMW Motorsport Jochen Neerpasch, the first BMW Art Car was commissioned when they asked Alexander Calder to design Poulain’s BMW 3.0 CSL race car in 1975 — which he would later race at Le Mans.

Since then, 18 more world renowned artists have gone on to express their own artistic vision using some of BMW’s most iconic models as their canvas.

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Using Acute Art’s unique VR/AR/mixed reality technology, the digitally reproduced Art Cars can be staged virtually anywhere a user desires in this wholly immersive 360 degree AR exhibition.

To achieve an exact digital reproduction, the real Art Cars were carefully scanned from all angles using a photogrammetry methodology, capturing every detail.

The first wave of BMW Art Cars that can be experienced via the app include:

  • Alexander Calder (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975)
  • Michael Jagamara Nelson (BMW M3, 1989)
  • Ken Done (BMW M3, 1989)
  • Matazo Kayama (BMW 535i, 1990)
  • Esther Mahlangu (BMW 525i, 1991)
  • Jeff Koons (BMW M3 GT2, 2010)
  • John Baldessari (BMW M6 GTLM, 2016)

To fully discover and experience the interactive BMW Art Cars, the Acute Art app is available free of charge through the App Store and Google Play.

Acute Art collaborates with the world’s leading contemporary artists, providing access to cutting-edge technologies that allow them to translate their creative vision into new digital mediums – including virtual, augmented and mixed realities.

“We are thrilled about this partnership with BMW, a company that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to technological innovation and art over decades.” Acute Art’s CEO, Jacob De Geer, said.

 “Acute Art was founded on the vision of democratising art and bringing it to places where it could not be before.

“In these challenging times we have to find new solutions. The collaboration with the BMW Group will intensify the exchange between technology, design and art.

“Together we will explore future landscapes involving today’s most innovative minds working in these fields.”


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Check out BMW's Art Cars in all their digital glory


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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