I get emails from readers here almost on a daily basis, and now that we are approaching the US launch the amount of correspondence I receive has been dramatically increasing. Quite often my blog posts are a reaction to something someone asked me. I figure if someone out there was curious enough about the topic to email me, then others probably are as well. I've had people ask me about this in the past, however yesterday and today I have had three people ask me if there was any way to special order a monochrome i3, with the hood, roof and accents all painted the color that the rest of the body panels are, instead of black.
|The "Black Hand" extends to the side mirrors|
|Everything is black besides the bumper|
The back of the car is particularly interesting because everything is black except the rear bumper which kind of gives the appearance that there is another car inside the i3 that is trying to get out! The New York Times Wheels Blog recently did a story on why BMW chose to use the black hood, roof and accents on all i3's regardless of the main color of the car. Evidently it was to "lighten" the appearance of an otherwise "chunky" small car. Here is an excerpt from the NY Times story:
"In designing the i3 electric car, BMW engineers were tasked with reducing weight to compensate for heavy batteries. They used a combination of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum, and the company mounted the passenger compartment atop the batteries. That approach made for a shorter vehicle with a lower center of gravity, but it also gave it a chunky profile. So designers set out to lighten the tall, bulky “monoform,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group’s design director.
“We wanted to remove visual weight from the car,” he said. That meant using all sorts of techniques and tricks to break up the apparent mass of he car, he explained in an interview last week.
Mr. Van Hooydonk, Richard Kim and Benoit Jacob worked on designing the i3 for five years. The name they chose to describe the technique used to lighten the bulk of the car’s outline was the black hand, said Mr. van Hooydonk.
“The hood, as you see, is black, and the same material runs over the roof and to the back,” he explained. “This helps us divide up the volume.”
|The i3 in white. We call this the "Panda Version" over on the i3 Facebook group|
|Solar Orange has been well received|
|The i3 Andesite Silver|
What are your thoughts on the "black hand?" Do you think it does what BMW had hoped it would, or would you rather your i3 painted all one color? Does anybody out there plan to paint their hood the same color of the car? How about a wrap? Lets discuss in the comments: