Anyone who is familiar with using spray paint knows about the annoyance of applying a coat only to find overspray on something you don't want paint on. The new EcoPaintJet Pro application process at the BMW Group Plant Dingolfing eliminates this problem. The result is a much easier method of applying complex patterns without stencils or masking onto a vehicle's exterior.
To show what's possible, BMW is building a run of 19 M4s with a bespoke, two-tone pattern and painted M4 emblems on the bonnet and tailgate. The effect is a bit ostentatious for our taste, but these cars are more of an opportunity to show what's possible from this new technology.
Gallery: BMW M4 with EcoPaintJet Pro
As the name implies EcoPaintJet Pro uses what BMW calls an orifice plate to apply jets of colour, and this allows for highly defined edges. There's also less waste because of no overspray. Paint separation is no longer necessary, so less compressed air is needed. This results in saving 6,000 megawatt-hours of electricity for every 7,000 operating hours.
This process allows for painting complex stripes or other designs onto a car. BMW says it would even be conceivably possible to paint every exterior component this way, creating limitless possibilities for personalisation. This also potentially makes customisation cheaper because workers don't have to mask a pattern onto each car individually.
The bad news about these 19 specially painted M4s is that BMW doesn't intend to sell them. The coupes get a spot in the automaker's own fleet. However, the automaker reports that production-spec vehicles using this process are coming in 2022, so there's not too much of a wait.
So what's your dream pattern on a customised BMW. We'd do something wild like apply the paint-splattered pattern from the Andy Warhol BMW M1 art car to a modern M8.