BASF Reveals Latest Automotive Color Trends Theme

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The need to stay authentic in a world where technology continues to blur the lines between reality and artificiality is the driving force behind BASF’s 2018-19 Automotive Color Trends theme—“Keep it Real.”

As innovations such as artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and robotic industrialization take hold, the return to the human element—people’s needs and emotions—becomes increasingly important. The designers at BASF’s Coatings division translated these observations into a collection of 65 colours for automotive surfaces.

Dark colours, blue hues and complex effects represent the omnipresence of technology

Advancements in digitalization make technology become less visible and more intertwined with reality. Augmented reality applications and smart gadgets that simplify everyday life merge the real with the digital world. People seem to spend more time on online platforms and striving more for perfection on social media, than in the real world.

This omnipresence of technology is reflected in the Automotive Color Trends. Shades of grey and blue are the focal point of the collection. Achromatic colours are combined with complex effects that add colourful and natural accents and represent the merging of reality and the virtual world. Blue hues—mirroring the colour of screens and digital light—appear as strong saturated colours. Natural textures and colour effects symbolize the search for human qualities in a virtual world.

Shifting functions—new mobility concepts will influence colour choices

Car sharing concepts, ride hailing services and autonomous driving shift a car’s function from a personally-owned object to a more public mode of transportation. For cars that are designed for sharing, colour pallets with a universal appeal will play a significant role. The trend collection shows how elaborate textures and intricate effects can make each colour truly unique.

In addition, BASF is aiming to address the needs of future mobility with the development of functional colours. Select colours of the collection feature a coatings system that mitigates heat buildup on the vehicle surface. Further innovations include colours with state-of-the-art functionality, increasing reflectivity for enhanced LiDAR detectability, without compromising their aesthetic appeal.

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