Trend Alert: What Color Will Your Car Be in the Future?

By: Bridget Clerkin July 6, 2018
The cooler automotive swatch of the future, according to German manufacturing giant BASF.
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If the unmitigated rise of technology is giving you the blues, you’re not alone. The hue has been pinpointed as one of the hottest car color trends of the future by chemical company BASF.

Specifically, the German-based corporation predicted that darker blues would dominate the future automotive scene.

The color scheme is based on a theme called “Keep It Real,” a feat that will become increasingly difficult as artificial intelligence and augmented reality continue blurring the lines between digital and physical spaces, company officials say.

With that concept in mind, BASF developed 65 car paint colors matching the aesthetic of this future world. And just like the reality it was inspired from, the batch contains numerous shades of grey.

Blue symbolizes both the natural world we occupy and the bright LCD screens increasingly occupying our time, company designers said. Tinted with grey, it’s a reminder of the increasingly present touch of technology.

Predicted palette trends were broken down by region, and while blue and grey popped up globally, North America was especially primed for the darker hues, according to BASF. (Specific color names include “Centripetal Blue,”an inky midnight tone, and “Metal’s Mettle,” a deep grey symbolic of the greater move toward urbanization.)

Elsewhere, the tints were lightened up, including in Europe, where an iridescent shade called “Shape Shifter”—incorporating both light blue and grey—is anticipated to take off. In Asia, riders will have even more cheery-sounding options, including a deep periwinkle color called “Twinkle Sound.”

Still, it’s not all gloom and doom in America. The region features one of the roster's only non-cool tones. It’s a full-bodied red called “Kleur,” symbolic of passion and optimism for the new world, says BASF designers. (The color is also one BASF experts hope will give people a reason to look up from their phones.)

But despite its hopeful meaning, the color may be as fleeting as a rainbow.

BASF noted in its analysis another reason color palettes will likely trend toward more universal shades of grey: the introduction of autonomous fleets.

With a handful of companies owning a lion’s share of cars on the road, individual preference in auto color will no longer hold sway.

Streamlining colors may become part of streamlining costs. And through our technological evolution, we may find ourselves back where we started, looking at a modified version of the philosophy developed by Henry Ford when he launched the Model T: “It can come in any color you want, as long as it’s [blue].”

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