BASF Says Painting BMW i3 Presented “New Challenges”


BMW i3 Live Debut - Photo Copyright Tom Moloughney

BMW i3 Live Debut – Photo Copyright Tom Moloughney

BASF and BMW teamed up to develop a coating for the special construction of the BMW i3.

BASF says it’s “supplying basecoats in four colors for the new i3 production line at the BMW plant in Leipzig.”

The BMW i3 is officially available in 6 colors, so we’re a bit confused as to why BASF says 4, unless two of the colors share the same basecoat with only the metallic mix being different.

BMW i3 Color Choices

BMW i3 Color Choices

BMW i3 Live in Detroit

BMW i3 Live in Detroit

“With the paints, BASF is contributing to the i3’s unique design, which is exceptionally clean, reduced but, at the same time, dynamic. The i3 has another special feature that also extends to the coating: the passenger compartment is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).”

Says BASF.

The BMW i3 is unique in that the painted plastic body panels are mounted after the vehicle is complete.

“The car consists of a CFRP body-in-white on which the coated plastic add-on parts are mounted. This concept means new challenges for the coating of the add-on parts and for the associated application processes. BASF’s many years of experience in coating add-on parts has paid off.”

Now that we know that BASF is behind the BMW i3’s hues, perhaps we could convince the paint supplier to expand the color palette a bit.

Categories: BMW


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6 Comments on "BASF Says Painting BMW i3 Presented “New Challenges”"

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Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Why can’t they just have normal single-tone options? Or at the very least black/black ?

The 1970s called, they want their paint jobs back.


Maybe they should mold the color into the plastic instead, but then you don’t get the high-gloss finish.

Yeah, I only see one color, the traffic-cone orange. The rest are shades of gray.

If painting the plastic panels was so hard why not just wrap them or make panels that are colored themselves through-and-through like the Smart ForTwo ED or the Th!nk City for example?

You can see the panels being painted here:

Starts around 10:30 mark.

Sounds expensive to repair after an accident.