Paris Motor Show: Flat Black Is The New Black

Picking the color of a new car often has lots of choices but usually the finish is always glossy....for now.

Dave Pinter
Dave Pinter on October 6, 2010. @DavePinter

A tradition among the hot rodder set is to give a car a unique look by painting it with a flat finish, commonly primer gray or black. The term ‘murdering out’ a car refers to painting everything black. We noticed quite a number of vehicles at the 2010 Paris Motor Show sporting flat black finishes. Interestingly the range of cars finished this way spanned from compacts all the way up to supercars. The flat finish does have a way of toughening up the look of a car and speaks more to performance than luxury. So why don’t we see more vehicles on the road sporting factory flat finishes? A main reason is probably one you wouldn’t expect. Fingerprints. They seem to appear and collect on the exterior seemingly out of thin air.

Here’s a collection of flat finish vehicles we spotted at the show. Most are offered as limited or special editions which might mean that a standard option is not far off.

Fiat 500c Twin Air Limited Edition

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Lancia Delta Hard Black Limited Edition

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2010_bmw_m3_1 2010_bmw_m3_3 2010_bmw_m3_2

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept
While technically not painted flat black, the Sesto’s exterior is unpainted carbon fiber which at a distance looks the same as flat black. The main difference the stratospheric repair cost if there is a scratch.

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TOPICS: Automotive
Dave Pinter

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Dave Pinter is a senior editor at PSFK and focuses on automotive, design and retail news plus NYC culture. Dave is also a New York based concept designer.