Last weekend, as I tended to my newest market offering’s complex fluidic thermodynamic power systems in the wee hours of the morning, I flipped on the tube and watched more than a few laps of the 24 Hours of Daytona.
A Mazda RX-8 (pictured above) won its class, beating out a gaggle of Porsche 911’s for the honor. In no sense a stock car (see the video at the end of this post for a walkaround this full tube-framed racer), this RX-8 nonetheless points to the future of car design for us civilians: look closely and you’ll notice that the paint isn’t glossy. Instead, the luscious carbon fiber panels on this machine are matte black, or satin if you will. Wax not needed or desired.
We’ve been raised to believe that gloss is good, that shiny equals quality. Those days are over. Hear this now: the cult of the waxed car body is melting, and this RX-8 represents the tipping point. Sure, beating the 911’s at Daytona is a win for the ages, but sporting a matte finish and finishing first — that’s a tipping point. If manufacturing and repair (how do you buff out a matte finish?) issues can be solved, I think we’ll start to see a lot of matte paint jobs rolling around. And a lot of them will likely be dirt-shedding nano particle finishes. Even cooler. We’ve already see matte paint on show cars from BMW and Lamborghini.
Matte is the New Black.
Here’s a video of the Daytona-winning RX-8 from the driver’s seat (oh, the wail of a rotary motor!):
And here’s an extra treat in the form of a most gnarly walkaround the car in the presence of race Nick Ham. Check out the paint (shown to best effect toward the end of the video):