BMW creates heaven-on-earth 8 Series

Meteorite-themed M850i takes 25 years of BMW Individual customisation know-how to new heights

04 January 2019 - 15:23 By Phuti Mpyane
Unique M850i Coupe Night Sky should be a collector’s dream. Picture: SUPPLIED
Unique M850i Coupe Night Sky should be a collector’s dream. Picture: SUPPLIED

BMW Individual Manufaktur has done it again. The customisation wing of BMW with facilities in Garching near Munich has been producing special-edition models and spectacular rarities of the blue and white propeller for the last 25 years. Known for its distinctive exterior and interior features, it has now taken its magic wand to the upcoming BMW M850i xDrive with a new meteoritic theme known as Night Sky.

Inspired by visible shooting-star fragments from asteroids which enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in the process, the planetary spice-up is mimicked on selected controls and surfaces in the cabin through an LED illuminated constellation of stars on the centre console, as trim finishers, and exterior add-on parts.

It uses actual meteoritic rock for the centre console’s trim plate, the start/stop button for the V8 engine, the selector lever for the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, and the Touch Controller for the iDrive system, creating a stunning visual and tactile effect.

Cabin highlights are the multi-LED lights that create galactic star lights. Picture: SUPPLIED
Cabin highlights are the multi-LED lights that create galactic star lights. Picture: SUPPLIED

Furthermore, the design of many other interior and exterior elements takes its cues from the Widmanstätten surface pattern of meteorites - a distinctive, geometric structural form that occurs naturally on ice crystals of extra-terrestrial objects. Named after the Austrian scientist Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten who discovered the pattern by flame-heating a slab of the Hraschina meteor which in 1751 fell in Croatia, the pattern is claimed to become visible only when certain types of iron meteorite are polished or brought into contact with acidic compounds.

Utilising a 3D printing process, the arrangement is replicated in the hand-stitched headliner, as the stitching pattern for the seat centre sections and on the centre console trim finish. The striking shape has also been milled into the brake discs, exterior mirror caps, front splitters for the side air intakes at the front of the car, centre mesh plate and surrounds for the Air Breathers on the front side panels of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky.

Intricate meteoritic pattern adorns wing mirrors. Picture: SUPPLIED
Intricate meteoritic pattern adorns wing mirrors. Picture: SUPPLIED

More technical brilliance of this special M850i includes the lightweight aluminium brake callipers with bionic design and manufactured via the same 3D printing process.  They are claimed to be 30 per cent lighter than conventional callipers and add to better driving dynamics and ride comfort.

The exterior paintwork of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky is a paint combination of Black non-metallic as the base colour and a second coat in San Marino Blue metallic for a deeply defined colour. The BMW Individual M850i Night Sky was presented during the run-up to an exceptionally intense meteor shower expected to take place in the Northern Hemisphere from 3 – 4 January 2019.

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