We’ve had a parade of test cars in our driveway this year, but the one that got the biggest reaction from friends, neighbors and strangers was the 2018 BMW 430i Coupe in Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic
One neighbor, a former BMW owner, physician and Gen Xer, got her first glimpse of the eye-catching color, a $550 option on my $52,695 vehicle, while she was on a tractor mowing her lawn. She immediately drove over the culvert and pulled up alongside the 430i as I was leaving my house.
“That’s so wrong!” she shouted, shaking her head.
I couldn’t talk because I was late for my Pilates class. I later texted her and asked her to explain her visceral reaction.
“It made me think it was a less-expensive car,” she wrote. “Somehow, it was distracting enough that I didn’t recognize the car as a BMW at first. And, I love BMWs. I was wondering why you were driving a rental initially.”
She’s a purist and part of the school of thought that BMWs should be available in white, black or red. But the German automaker clearly is making a play for millennials and women with unexpected new color choices, including Sunset Orange Metallic and Melbourne Red Metallic.
My girlfriend Chris, a Pilates instructor and style maven, went crazy for the Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic color.
“It looks like my pedicure and my purse – and my yoga mat!” she said, as I clicked away taking iPhone pictures of each. “I love that color!”
We texted a photo of the blue BMW to her boyfriend, a Baby Boomer who is the owner of a white BMW 3 Series sedan. He liked the color, too, but admitted it could be polarizing.
That’s probably good – and something we’ll see more of in the future, especially with once-staid luxury automakers.
In its 2018-19 exterior paint offerings, auto supplier PPG includes a bright palette dubbed “Hyper HD,” made up of “dazzling bright hues with layered effects.” PPG notes that while most buyers stick with conservative colors, global manufacturers “have good reason to give their brands and models a unique appearance using color and effects.”
Sherwin Williams, which sells paint for houses, not cars, offers some intriguing insight into new color preferences. It notes “millennials react differently to color than previous generations.”
“More saturated, tech-driven hues appeal to and inspire them so long as the colors remain authentic and honest,” it said in a posting on its website.
I was beginning to understand why BMW is boldly nudging customers out of their comfort zone when it comes to color choices. And Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic was growing on me, even though my favorite BMW color is Dark Olive Metallic, a subdued tone that takes on a different look depending on the light.
I jumped back in the 430i Coupe after my exercise class and went to pay the parking attendant.
“Hey,” he said, admiring the BMW. “My Chevrolet Cruze is the same color!”
Photo Credits: Color chart (PPG); 2018 Chevrolet Cruze (Chevrolet.com)