December 5, 2023

Vantablack paint has been around since 2014, but it wasn’t applied to a vehicle until 2019. This color is as dark as they come, and it plays tricks on the mind as it erases all contour from an image. It quite literally creates a black hole out of an image that defies everything we have ever known.

Updated March 2023: The Vantablack paint isn’t like any other paint out there, and its unique qualities are what set it apart from the rest. We reviewed this article with more accurate details of the paint, while also adding more entries of facts you should know about the Vantablack paint and its application on cars.

We have compiled a list of things that might interest you to learn about this mysterious paint. It has officially entered the world of cars and as a consumer, it is your right to know what the world has in store for this product. Keep reading to learn 12 things you should know about Vantablack car paint.

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12 It’s The Darkest Black Pigment In The World

Vantablack BMW

This is literally the darkest pigment on Earth, and it almost seems to suck the life right out of us. You have never laid eyes on something this profoundly black, and now there is no going back.

The scientists behind this atrocity have created the impossible, and we wonder if there is any possibility to stretch the limits even further. Our minds are already blown, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end there, as we explore what exactly goes into making the darkest pigment known to man.

11 Licensed For Artistic Use

luxury watch by Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps (MCT) in Switzerland.

While Surrey Nano Systems created the paint, it was Anish Kapoor who monopolized it for the art industry. He owns the only rights to the substance as it pertains to artwork, and that left several others in the trade quite unhappy. He created watches with the material, but other artists were quite upset at this arrangement and decided to take matters into their own hands.

A man named Stuart Semple created a color he called The Pinkest Pink and said everyone could buy it except for Anish Kapoor, even though he got his hands on it anyway. Semple has then gone on to make several attempts to create a substance darker than Vantablack, but we are yet to see his results.

10 It Was Originally Designed For Use In Space

Kent Ridge 1 (KR 1)

This product was originally developed for use in aiding space exploration, and it made its debut back in 2016 aboard the Kent Ridge 1. The paint was a game changer for the project, as it gave the device better capabilities to track its position based on nearby stars.

It minimizes light interference that helps create a more accurate tracking system like nothing the world has ever seen before. It has enhanced our ability to explore realms beyond our reach and further our knowledge of what else is out there for us to explore.

9 The Pigment Uses Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes too weak to get a space elevator off the ground

A carbon nanotube consists of cylindrical molecules of carbon atoms that one can roll into multilayer sheets. They use a vertically aligned nanotube array that creates a forest-like environment on a micro-scale.

The light, otherwise known as photons, enters this forest and bounces along the tubes until they lose all heat and energy. There is no way for these photons to escape, which is why this product has reached such an extreme black coloring. It is amazing to see it in person, but the science behind its creation is arguably even more remarkable.

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8 It Makes Objects Look Two-Dimensional

two dimensional vantablack Graphéine
Surrey Nano Systems

The objects painted with this paint lose their three-dimensional shape and begin to look two-dimensional. It is almost as if the contours and lines of the face pictured above no longer exist, getting sucked into oblivion.

We hope no one ever figures out how to make this into a clothing line, as it will change the game of thievery forever in terms of their escape. This image shows the extent the paint has on an object, and it is truly remarkable we have come this far in our experimentation with pigments.

7 It Has No Reflection

Surrey NanoSystems
Surrey Nano Systems

This substance literally has no reflection, which is what makes it so unique. This is what makes it so desirable, especially to space communities where light can affect their results. It is almost impossible to see due to this feature and is one of the main reasons why an object’s contours seem to disappear when they have this paint color. It strips them of their identity, as the reflection we use to identify corners seemingly disappears before our very eyes under the constraint of carbon nanotubes.

6 A BMW X6 Received The Paint


A BMW X6 received the Vantablack paint for the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Showcased in a room with strange lighting and subtle fog, this made it seem like it hopped straight out of the future. It is a strange sight to see as the car almost seems to fade into the background of the room.

They left the lights and the grille untouched, but it only adds to the magic, as they seem to appear to float in space. Furthermore, they even used a version of this paint that reflects 1% more light back at its user, but to the naked eye, it makes little difference.

5 Absorbs 99.965% Of Light

Worlds Blackest Black vs The Worlds Brightest Flashlight
YouTube/The Action Lab

This paint actually is capable of absorbing 99.965% of light, while the color used on BMW’s car could only absorb 99%. The main difference between this and the color black is that Vantablack is a substance, not just a color.

It’s considered its own entity and material, as its nanotubes are constantly working to give it this unique pigment. This substance isn’t affected by water and has a high tolerance to outside forces. It is like nothing else you have ever seen or heard of before, which is why this is such a highly sought-after product in many areas of industry.

4 It Will Not Go Into Production

BMW Production Line
BMW Media

You are probably worried about how this will impact night driving, as putting a basically invisible car on a dark roadway seems irresponsible. Luckily, BMW agrees with you, which is why this color option will never be available on their cars.

It would be much too dangerous for oncoming traffic, and even in the daylight, it would fail to stand out enough for other drivers to see it. We understand the desire to drive a car as cool as this, but safety always trumps beauty, and it should remain that way.

3 Companies Plan To Use It For Heads-Up Displays Or Camera Lenses

headsup display

It is obvious that BMW didn’t put the paint on their car for nothing, but instead have bigger plans in store for the product. The company sees the potential in it for its heads-up displays and other reflective surfaces inside the vehicle that can be distracting for drivers.

The Vantablack paint would cut down on the reflections and give drivers a better view of the road, as well as reduce glare off of devices within the car. The touchpad screens many vehicles have upgraded to would be greatly helped if they found some way to attach Vantablack to these surfaces.

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2 How Much Is The Vantablack Paint

Surrey Nano Sytems

Unlike other conventional paints, the Vantablack paint isn’t available to the public. There’s a patent on its production process, and it’s said to take about two days to produce, all adding up to make it quite an expensive but highly valuable material.

Comparatively, the Vantablack is more expensive than precious metals, which include gold and diamonds. The Vantablack paint’s adoption and application have made it to the production of highly expensive luxury accessories. An example of this includes a limited edition Vantablack watch produced by a Swiss watch manufacturer. Notably, the watch costs $95,000. Nonetheless, the true cost or value of the Vantablack paint is not known, since the manufacturer hasn’t made the product available to the public.

1 An Alternative To The Vantablack Paint Is Available For Sale

vantablack bMW car

Since Surrey Nano Systems has categorically stated that the Vantablack paint is not for sale to the public, neither is it available for cars, some other paint manufacturers have made it a duty to produce an alternative to the Vantablack that is available to the masses at a price.

One of such companies is KoPro from Japan, and the company produced a paint called Musou Black. Without Vantablack, the Musou Black becomes arguably the darkest paint ever, as it has a light absorption rate of 99.4 percent (Vantablack’s absorption rate is 99.965 percent). However, while it’s available for sale to the public, the manufacturer claims it isn’t an ideal paint for cars as well. About 100 ml of the Musou Black paint costs less than $20.


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