We’re a little late to the party seeing as this car was introduced in Japan in mid-August but when it comes to timeless pieces of art such as the Kyoto Edition that’s based on the M850i xDrive Gran Coupe, it’s better late than never, isn’t it?
The Kyoto Edition was created in collaboration with world-renowned lacquer artist Shiho Okada from Kyoto, Japan. One of the goals of this unique project was to create something that no one has ever seen – derived from the intersection of two different cultures (Japanese and German).
If you think this is yet another marketing stunt most carmakers have been guilty of featuring some random stickers and fancy trims, you’re wrong; this one’s far from it. For starters, you have the Azurite Black paint job by BMW Individual that has a blue sparkle akin to the Azurite gemstone to create a sense of elegance and tranquility.
Once inside, the eye would immediately be drawn to the lacquered centre console of the M850i Gran Coupe with designs inspired by traditional Japanese crafts from the Edo period that spanned between the 1600s to the 1800s. The designs which feature a bundle of elongated strips is seen as an auspicious pattern in Japan and is a symbol of longevity.
If you think it’s just another painted panel that a street artist could’ve accomplished, you’re wrong again. Instead, painstaking hours of delicate craftsmanship has gone into completing the exquisite piece.
The surface actually consists of tiny pieces of shells that have been cut into shapes and pasted on for a 3D effect. As for the gold details, they’re not merely pressed on with foil but instead, sewn in with gold powder. Unfortunately, it’s not a process we can explain in further detail despite an elaborate explanation given on the Japanese BMW site – Google Translate could only do so much.
Even the lacquer used in this piece of art is special as it is sourced from a lacquer shop that was founded in 1902. The lacquer is resistant to deterioration and is said to be used in some of the oldest cultural buildings in Japan such as the Himeji Castle.
To top this all of, the purchase of a Kyoto Edition M850i xDrive Gran Coupe will be accompanied by a special key box made by Shiho Okada himself, along with cushions specially-made from materials sourced entirely from Kyoto.