Koons art car not just museum piece

Riley Riley

BMW has a long track record of creating ‘art cars’ and most of them end up in museums.

Not so with the latest creation by Jeff Koons because it will definitely be offered for sale — all 99 of them.

Make that 98, because one signed by the artist will be auctioned with the proceeds from the sale going to charity.

A strictly limited number of the M850i xDrive Gran Coupe were created by Jeff Koons and BMW over several years of close collaboration.

The original BMW 850i was the first model of the 8 Series launched in 1990 and was celebrated as creating a new perspective of progress in advanced motoring, appealing to the connoisseur who acknowledges elegance and performance as the ultimate blend of perfection.

THE 8 X JEFF KOONS also continues this tradition.

“My edition of the BMW 8 Series is my dream car. It is very special to me and I’ve wanted to create a special edition BMW for a long time,” Koons said.

“It is sporty and flashy as well as minimalist and conceptual. I can’t wait to drive it and ride in it, and I hope that people will enjoy the Gran Coupé just as much as I do.

“On the car, the lines are getting bigger on their journey from the hood towards the trunk, creating a sense of forward movement just as the ‘Pop!’ and the vapor thrust design elements do.

“The blue color resembles the vastness of space and I like the idea of the car being a global car. What matters is how we relate to each other and our awareness of everything we are surrounded by.

“For the driver and all passengers, there is a heightened state of pleasure. This is what my car has to offer.”


The expressive and striking design combines 11 different exterior colors ranging from blue to silver, as well as from yellow to black.

Only four cars will be painted each week.

The multi-colored interior is comprised of high-end materials, fine leather and a cupholder lid with an edition badging and the artist’s signature.

The seats are made up of the striking red and blue which reflects the colors of superheroes from the comic book universe as well as those of the company’s high-performance unit BMW M.

Overall, the energetic and powerful design includes both elements of pop art as well as geometric patterns paying homage to the sporty 8 Series Gran Coupe’s intricate contours and shape.

The exploding lines of color at the rear, in turn, are their own unmediated homage to the artist’s 2010 BMW Art Car, while the “Pop!” on each side as well as the vapor thrust imagery symbolise the power and speed of THE 8 X JEFF KOONS, says the artist.

More than 200 hours of manual work were spent by highly specialised professionals at the BMW Group plants in Dingolfing and Landshut on the exterior paintwork alone, where color samples were often applied with magnifying glasses.

“Energetic,” “tantalizing,” and “strong” is how international media described the car, following the publication of first design studies on the occasion of the cooperation’s announcement in early September, 2021 at Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne museum.

Each vehicle comes with a large-format certificate signed by Jeff Koons, which in addition to Chairman Oliver Zipse’s signature also contains the individual Vehicle Identification Number of the respective vehicle.

The artist also designed the dust jacket of the Driver’s Manual.

One further signature of the artist is let into the cupholder panel.

Koons deliberately chose the Bavarian blue from the BMW logo.

Initially, THE 8 X JEFF KOONS will be on display for the general public in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Plaza before one vehicle from the edition, signed on the tailgate by Jeff Koons, will be auctioned off at Christie’s in New York on April 4.

All proceeds from the highest bid will go to the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). Jeff Koons has been personally involved with this nonprofit NGO for over two decades.


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