Julie Mehretu

2024 BMW M Hybrid V8

The 20th BMW Art Car was unveiled on May 21, 2024, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Designed by renowned New York-based contemporary artist Julie Mehretu, the project transforms the BMW M Hybrid V8 racecar into a performative work of art.

Space, movement, and energy have always been central motifs in Julie Mehretu’s work. For the design of the 20th BMW Art Car, she transformed a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional representation for the first time, with which she succeeded in bringing dynamism into form.

Julie Mehretu used the color and form vocabulary of her monumental painting “Everywhen” (2021-2023) as a starting point for her design. The work is currently on view at the artist’s major retrospective at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice and will subsequently become part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, to which it has been gifted.

Its abstract visual form results from digitally altered photographs, which are superimposed in several layers of dot grids, neon-colored veils and the black markings characteristic of Mehretu’s work.

“In the studio, where I had the model of the BMW M Hybrid V8, I was just sitting in front of the the painting and I thought: What would happen, if this car seemed to go through that painting and becomes affected by it?”

— Julie Mehretu


Click any image below for larger view
All photographs Copyright © 2024 BMW Group

Julie Mehretu | USA

Julie Mehretu is a world-renowned American painter. She was born in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, in 1970. Together with her family she moved to the U.S. at the age of seven. She lives and works in New York City and Berlin.

Mehretu’s practice in painting, drawing and printmaking engage the viewer in a dynamic visual articulation of contemporary experience, a depiction of social behavior and the psychogeography of space by exploring palimpsests of history, from geological time to a modern-day phenomenology of the social.

bmw art car 20 by julie mehretu
Julie Mehretu and the BMW M Hybrid V8

She received her bachelor’s degree from the Kalamazoo College in Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, and completed her Master’s degree of Fine Art with honors from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1997.

Mehretu has received numerous awards, including the The MacArthur Award (2005), The Berlin Prize: Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship at The American Academy in Berlin (2007) and the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts Award (2015).

A mid-career survey of Mehretu’s work recently toured at:

  • LACMA (Los Angeles)
  • High Museum (Atlanta)
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York)
  • The Walker Museum of Art (Minneapolis) from 2019 to 2023

Her largest European solo exhibition to date entitled “Ensemble” opened March 17, 2024, at Palazzo Grassi in Venice.

Julie Mehretu is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The National Academy of Design. Her global representative is Marian Goodman Gallery. She also exhibits with White Cube, London, and Carlier Gebauer, Berlin.


BMW Art Car #20 by Julie Mehretu
Copyright © 2024 BMW Group

2024 BMW M Hybrid V8

The canvas for the 20th BMW Art Car is the BMW M Hybrid V8. The new racecar from BMW M GmbH features a hybrid electric drivetrain system with approximately 640 hp, powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine supported by an electric motor (top speed: up to 345 km/h or 215 mph, depending on the racetrack layout).

During this year’s official FIA World Endurance Championship races, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will take on high-calibre competition in the Hypercars category. The car will also compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the first BMW M Motorsport prototype to do so since the BMW V12 LMR, which won the classic race in 1999.


Specifications for the P66/3 engine in the BMW M Hybrid V8:

  • Type: V-shaped Otto four-stroke twin-turbo engine
  • Capacity: 3,999 ccm
  • Cylinders: 8
  • Cylinder construction: Cast aluminium cylinder block and cylinder head, cylinder lining as iron layer in LDS
  • Procedure angle: 90°
  • Bore: 93 mm
  • Stroke: 73.6 mm
  • Cylinder spacing: 102 mm
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Engine speed: 8,200 rpm (max)
  • Output (regulated): 640 hp (approx)
  • Torque: 650 Nm (approx)
  • Injection: High-pressure direct injection at 350 bar
  • Oil system: Dry sump system with six-cell oil drain pump and oil tank