Chevy FNR's Concept Color Inspired by the Future of Automotive

BASF is building a reputation with concept car color debuts for General Motors Co. at Auto Shanghai.

From the Buick Riviera concept car presented at Auto Shanghai 2013 that glistened in Icy Cyan-jade to the Chevrolet-FNR concept car's debut at the 2015 show in stunning Mid-night Glimmer, BASF has created exquisite colors for these vehicles.

From futuristic and environmental, to quality and technology, these colors reflect people's various imaginations and are full of rich textures.

While the vehicle designs are attributed to the joint venture between GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation called the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), the customized paints are developed by the color design experts from BASF's Coatings Division.

The FNR in the Chevrolet concept vehicle stands for Find New Roads, a slogan for Chevy vehicles, which means exploring unlimited possibilities. And, in an era of cutting-edge technology, car designers are aimed at exploring the design and development trends of the future.

Which is exactly what BASF wanted to portray in the color itself.

Chevy FNR's Concept Color Inspired by the Future of Automotive Chevrolet's FNR concept car at Auto Shanghai 2015 in BASF's Mid-night Glimmer.

"With people so curious and full of imagination, we wanted to apply a color that reflects the sense of future and technology to the actual design of mass-produced vehicles," said Chiharu Matsuhara, chief color designer, Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific. "This color reflects a future development direction of automotive coatings in China and derives from people's expectation of product design."

In order to achieve the ideal detailed color effect, many efforts were made, including adding highlights to the basic color concept, recommending a floating color-changing effect and working with PATAC to put highlights in golden tones on a dark blue background to achieve contrasting hues.

In an era of cutting-edge technology, car designers are aimed at exploring the design and development trends of the future.

But it was the final decision, using a purer, deeper, Mid-night Glimmer that shined at the show.

BASF color experts were attracted by their idea of dark blue shades full of diamonds, reflecting the design concept of a mysterious world and future technology. When presenting this feedback to the customer, the feeling became mutual.

"An interesting aspect of work is when you and your partner have a collaborative vision and work together to achieve it," said Vivienne Liu, color designer, Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific, who was the project core team member.

Painting the concept car with this color posed its challenges, causing tremendous demands on the painters' skills and experiences. For example, the thin plating silver particles were only capable of being painted on a flat surface as the slightest irregularities would cause ripples on the coating surface.

But that didn't stop BASF. Instead, they were able to overcome these obstacles, allowing the finished product to meet the intended spirit of the original concept.

"Looking back, the final color is strikingly similar to the original design concept," Liu said. "We've made adjustments to the specific color detail, but we've never steered far from the original idea."