All the way back in the year 2000, S Club 7 told kids to ‘reach for the stars’. More than 18 years later, BMW has listened. Meet the new M850i Night Sky edition.
OK, BMW hasn’t turned its new flagship coupe into an interstellar vehicle. It’s not that fast. But it is quite a peculiar special edition, even among the pantheon of one-off specials.
What is the M850i Night Sky?
First and foremost, it’s the best version of the new 8 Series – BMW’s all-singing, all-dancing flagship coupe. The ‘Night Sky’ bit includes controls made from, in BMW’s words, ‘meteoritic material’.
That means some of the dials in this out-of-this-world 8er are made from materials that came from a galaxy far far away, and somehow made it through our atmosphere. The start/stop button for the V8, the whole of the centre console’s trim plate, the gear selector, the iDrive multimedia controller and the inlays in the sills are all trimmed as such.
Meanwhile, on the centre console, a star-studded sky is depicted with lights in the leather, reflecting ‘human fascination with the infinite vastness of the universe’.
Across the car, including on the trims and some exterior pieces, the ‘Widmanstätten’ pattern is recognisably extraterrestrial. It’s a geometric effect that only forms naturally outside of our atmosphere, in the extreme conditions of space.
Appearing like ice crystals, it only becomes visible when certain types of iron meteorite are polished or brought into contact with acidic compounds. A slow process of cooling metal alloy is how it occurs in space, and this cannot be replicated on Earth.
In addition, there are new 3D-printed brake calipers. While a very aerospace method of manufacturing, we don’t think the actual caliper materials were harvested from an unsuspecting meteorite.
Why make the M850i Night Sky?
It’s a good question. We won’t argue with abstract specials for the sake of it, but the star-studded Beemer does have a purpose. Tonight, January 3 2019, Earth will be passing through the orbit of asteroid ‘2003 EH’. The result of which should be a fairly spectacular night sky, streaked with sizzling space debris.
You never know, some of it might fall to Earth and become a part of a tenuous motor car. After all, that meteoritic trim is definitely more interesting than a finger-print-splattered slice of piano black plastic.
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