Personally, I’ve never been interested in cars that were “blacked out,” nor have I ever wanted to blackout anything I’ve driven. The culture is pretty much lost on me. But, as I’ve just discovered, there’s an ongoing search for the blackest of black paint, and I think the folks over at the DipYourCar YouTube channel have found it.
In this video, DipYourCar applies a water-based acrylic paint called Musou Black to the exterior of a Lancer Evolution X that has already been coated in Plastidip. The company that manufactures Musou Black, Koyo Orient Japan, says that acrylic paints typically absorb between 94 and 98 percent of light, but Musou Black can swallow 99.4 percent of light. And, as you’ll see from the video, that extra two percent really makes all the difference.
Photos don’t do it justice. You need to see the car in motion, which you can do at about the 5:45 mark. Still, it’s worth watching the whole thing to understand the process.
I’ve never seen anything like this before. Fonzie, the owner of DipYourCar, describes the effect as if “real life [was] Photoshopped,” which seems like a pretty accurate way of describing it. All that’s essentially left visible on this Evo is a silhouette, propping up a mass of disconnected wheels, windows and lights. The glints and reflections that ordinarily accentuate creases in sheet metal have all been erased, leaving a sport sedan-shaped abyss in their place.
In fact, it’s almost like the car has been clad entirely in velvet, or like you’re playing a video game and the textures failed to load. It’s a little creepy in video, and I have to imagine it would be even creepier in real life.
Now, Musou Black wasn’t made to coat an entire vehicle, and so this stunt probably isn’t something anyone should try at home (at least on a car you actually expect to drive). Fonzie notes that the paint itself appears to be very delicate, and Koyo’s website presents a number of use cases that most definitely have nothing to do with cars, like decorating figures and sculptures. Besides, Musou Black is so freakishly good at neutralizing light that driving a car painted like this — hell, even following one — after dark seems like a death wish.
This isn’t the first time someone has turned a car into a mobile black hole. BMW, in partnership with Surrey NanoSystems, the maker of an exotic material called Vantablack, brought an X6 show car to last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show that achieved a similar effect. Vantablack isn’t available to consumers, however, so it’s hardly a project anyone could attempt to replicate.
Having seen what materials like Musou Black and Vantablack can do, though, I think they’ve just about ruined all other attempts at blacked-out cars for me. Nothing else compares. Forget boring, ordinary matte paint; if your car doesn’t contradict everything I thought I understood about light in three dimensions, why even bother?