17th BMW Art Car to Run Le Mans

Over the last 35 years, BMW has commissioned 17 extraordinary cars to serve as the canvas for contemporary artists, almost all of which campaigned at the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Notable artists to participate in the program include Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Hockney. The latest creation was unveiled by pop artist Jeff Koons at a presentation on June 2 at the Centre Pompidou museum in Paris. The Koons car, a 500-horsepower M3 GT2 whose 4.0 liter V-8 reportedly rockets the car to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, is no exception and will wear number 79 when the famed French race is held on June 12 to 13. The number pays homage to the fourth-ever Art Car, an M1 decorated by Andy Warhol that competed at Le Mans in 1979.

“These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy,” Koons said when he revealed his initial sketches for the car. “You can participate with it, add to it, and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car—it’s really to connect with that power.”

Following its campaign at Le Mans, the Koons Art Car will be displayed alongside its predecessors at the BMW Museum in Munich.