Woah: this BMW iX changes colour like a chameleon | Top Gear
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Woah: this BMW iX changes colour like a chameleon

Down paintbrushes! BMW is working on tech that'll change your car’s colour at the press of a button

Published: 06 Jan 2022
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The problem with choosing a colour for your car is that you can only do it once. Got bored of your motor’s paint job? Tough: you either have to stick with it or take an expensive trip to the nearest workshop.

Perhaps not for long though. BMW’s latest revelation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is this, the iX Flow featuring E Ink. It’s quite literally a colour-changing car, and it could safe choices like white, grey and black a thing of the past.

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How does it work? It features the same electrophoretic colouring technology used in e-readers (you know the one: begins with K, rhymes with Bindle) with millions of microcapsules no wider than a human hair woven into the exterior surfaces.

Each of these microcapsules contains positively charged white pigment and negatively charged black pigments, and running a charge through them can bring one or the other to the surface. Hey presto, you have a colour-changing car.

No energy is needed to keep the change constant, and BMW says it could even give EVs more range. You see, white reflects thermal energy while black absorbs it, and picking the right hue for the temperature will mean less electrical juice is wasted.

"The BMW iX Flow is an advanced research and design project and a great example of the forward thinking that BMW is known for," explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design.

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Meanwhile, project head Stella Clarke adds: "This gives the driver the freedom to express different facets of their personality or even their enjoyment of change outwardly, and to redefine this each time they sit into their car.

“Similar to fashion or the status ads on social media channels, the vehicle then becomes an expression of different moods and circumstances in daily life."

Desirable tech or - following the unveiling of the 610bhp iX M60 - just another attempt to make the controversial SUV more appetising? As usual, opinions below please.

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