BMW Japan is known for their exquisite special editions, featuring unique Japanese craftsmanship that puts even the Maybachs to shame. Following last year’s M850i “Kyoto Edition” that showed off the art of traditional Japanese lacquering, the carmaker’s local arm has once again introduced a new special edition model, this time based on the BMW X7.
Called the “Nishijin Edition”, the special BMW X7 is only available in one single exterior colour, a special BMW Individual exclusive called Ametrine Metallic. The name is a portmanteau of Amethyst and Citrine, and thanks to the use of multiple pigments such as aluminum flakes and mica in a multi-layer coating, the paint job can appear as different shades of red, purple, or brown, depending on the angle and surrounding lighting conditions.
But the main highlight of the BMW X7 Nishijin Edition is actually on the interior, which showcases the unique “Nishijin-ori” dyeing and weaving technique from Kyoto, Japan.
Said to be originated from the Kofun period, the gorgeous artisanal fabric art is woven together using a variety of coloured threads and foils, and has been used on everything from costumes to furnishing, and was also particularly fancied by the Japanese imperial family.
The Nishijin-ori technique involves more than 20 different processes, including twisting, warping, and weaving, and that’s why it’s only hand-made by a very niche group of skilled craftsmen in Japan.
For the X7 Nishijin Edition, BMW Japan specifically chose the design of “Keiun” (roughly translates to “festive wind”), a name given to the Japanese era that spanned from the year 704 through 708 that is supposedly used in a congratulatory manner.
The craftsmen use a variety of silk threads meshed with Japanese gold foil-pressed papers in what’s called a “pulling foil” technique to create an artisanal fabric with a three-dimensional feel and look, which is then applied onto the centre armrest and headlining.
There’s also a matching trim piece on the centre console and dashboard, featuring a traditional Japanese technique called “five-colour gold layering” that uses a blend of gold and silver foil and pigment applied in five different layers to give it a different shimmering effect depending on the surrounding lighting conditions – just like its exterior!
The BMW X7 Nishijin Edition is based on the xDrive40d Pure Excellence trim, and just like the M850i, only three units will be made available. It’s priced at JPY16,800,000 (approx. RM631k), which is roughly 30% more than the standard car. Though, with the amount of artisanal craftsmanship put into every car, we’d say it’s worth it.