American artist Jeff Koons has been pestering BMW since 2003 to let him create one of Munich’s famous Art Cars. Well he’s finally got his wish and his creation, the 17th BMW Art Car based on a BMW M3 GT2, will be racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend.

Koons started the design using CAD software before applying it to the actual model. This was then transferred onto a vinyl surface that was used to cover the 500 bhp M3 GT2. Later on, a couple of layers of clear coats were used to bring out the colours. Just in case the M3 gets damaged during the race, the same process has also been applied to the spare panels of bodywork.

The psychedelic colourful design produces an effect of rapid movement. Other additions to the graphics include debris to the back and sides (represents power) as well as two rings on the rear end that “represent supersonic acceleration.”

“These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy. You can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car – it’s really to connect with that power,” the artist said.

Koons even donned a helmet and joined BMW’s American Le Mans Series race team for testing in Sebring, Florida in February. There, he was able to experience the M3 GT2 at race speed to further inspire his design. He also witnessed “the raw unfiltered performance” of the M3 GT2 from the seat of a historic BMW M1 race car and drove a BMW M3 Coupe on the circuit for inspiration.

Koons’ Art Car will race with No. 79, a tribute to the 1979 Andy Warhol BMW M1 Art Car. Warhol’s car was assigned the No. 76, a homage to the 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL by Frank Stella, both of which raced at Le Mans.

Gallery after the jump.

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