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IAA highlights: Two-tone paint is still in fashion



Top or flop? A stylish paint job has an effect on the character and market success of a new car. One of the most important future trends remains two-tone paint, as BMW, Toyota, VW etc. demonstrated in September at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main.

SUVs and sports cars, compact, mid-range and luxury models, minivans, pick-ups and futuristic concept vehicles in pearlescent, metallic and solid colours: The IAA is one of the largest and most important automotive trade shows in the world. It often anticipates future developments in a way that no other trade show can.

Manufacturers shine with two-tone paint

Strolling through the halls, it becomes clear that car designs will again become more angular in the future, and they will be noticeably dynamic and sporty. In terms of paintwork, one trend remains unbroken: bi-colour paint jobs can be found in all segments. This is shown, for example, by the i3, BMW’s electric car, which has been given a facelift. While the lower half of the chassis is painted red, the roof, A-pillar and bonnet are black, which creates a dynamic contrast, similar to the “Protonic Frozen Yellow” edition of the i8. Mini’s Electric Concept model also features a two-tone paint job. The car is painted silver, but has accents in the paint finish “Striking Yellow”. The roof features a colour gradient from white to yellow, and there are decorative yellow strips on the rear bumper and on the rims.

The ID Buzz from VW also caused amazement by featuring a two-tone paint job. The roof and much of the front are silver, while the lower half of the body is dominated by a dark yellow – a colour that is reminiscent of the iconic two-tone paint of the early VW “Bullis.” Toyota also uses two-tone paint for the C-HR Hy-Power, which is a design study in a Dark Carbon silver colour with a matte finish and orange areas on the A pillars, exterior mirrors and between the headlights. The Japanese car manufacturer also presented vehicles with sophisticated matte wraps.

  • BMW has given the i3 a facelift with a red and black bi-colour paint job. The two-tone paint creates a dynamic contrast.

  • The Mini Electric Concept is painted silver, with accents in Striking Yellow.

    The Mini Electric Concept is painted silver, with accents in Striking Yellow.

  • The ID The VW Buzz is reminiscent of the two-tone paint of the “Bulli”.

  • Toyota’s C-HR Hy-Power design study in Dark Carbon silver with a matte finish and orange accents.

    Toyota’s C-HR Hy-Power design study in Dark Carbon silver with a matte finish and orange accents.

Blue and red are still on the rise

In terms of chromatic colours, blue and red are gaining popularity:This is proven by models from KIA, Hyundai, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, VW and Audi – such as the Mazda MX 5RF with retractable hardtop, the Hyundai i30 Wagon or the Toyota Auris Hybrid in pearlescent Tokyo red. Red in particular is experiencing a renaissance, as shown, among other things, at the Mazda stand. The Japanese car brand presented a whole range of reds on their vehicles.

Figures also support this development:

According to the current Global Color Popularity Report from the coatings manufacturer Axalta Coating Systems, 15 percent of all cars in Europe today have blue or red paint jobs. In spite of the unchanged dominance of white, black and grey/silver, this is quite a remarkable share.

The strong position of white was unbroken at this year’s IAA, but is expected to decline slightly in the future. Particularly sophisticated tri-coat or uni-paint finishes in white impressed the visitors, such as the electrically-powered Borgward BXi7, a mid-size SUV with a matte white paint job, or the Honda NSX hybrid sports car. Tri-coat white and light blue were the dominant colours for electric cars. In contrast, brown and green played almost no role at this year’s IAA. Overall, electric mobility remains an important future trend: Almost all stands featured electric vehicles or hybrid models, often in a white colour with a little blue as a contrast.

The rapidly growing number of vehicles with special colours has long reached the streets and therefore the workshops. Often these shades are very complex and, when it comes to repairs, pose a challenge even for experienced refinishers. Some special colours can only be adjusted exactly with a special paint system – and getting it right first time is not easy. Standox regularly offers seminars in which the painting of special colours is practised. You can find further information at Marketing-Services.

  • Mazda MX 5RF with retractable hardtop. Refined red tones experienced a renaissance at the IAA.

  • Visitors were amazed by the Honda NSX hybrid supercar.

  • Chic and simple: The Borgward Bxi7 is an electrically-powered mid-size SUV with matt white paint.

  • Toyota Auris hybrid in pearlescent Tokyo red.

    Toyota Auris hybrid in pearlescent Tokyo red.

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