A BMW painted with Vantablack

Vantablack — the darkest, most light-absorbing pigment on the market — is freaky stuff to behold (previously, previously, previously, previously, and previously). Vantablack reflects vanishingly little visible light, making anything in which it is coated appear to be void cut in the fabric of reality.

Now BMW has painted a car with Vantablack, which, as Mark Wilson notes in Fast Company, is just about the most dangerous way you can paint a car in the history of ever:

Black cars are notably more dangerous to drive than white cars for reasons of visibility already. A study by Monash University Accident Research Centre in Australia, which studied crash data across the country from 1987 to 2004, found that compared to white cars as a baseline, crash risk was higher for just about every other common color, including red, blue, silver, green, gray, and, yes, black. Black performed the worst by every measure: In daylight, the chance of crash is 12% higher than that of white cars. At dawn and dusk, that jumps to 47%—though your relative risk of getting into an accident at that time is lower at those hours, the authors point out. Monash's study was consistent with at least one other, from the University of Granada, which determined that yellow was a safe alternative to white. The center is a respected resource in vehicle safety, also contributing to the annual Used Car Safety Ratings.

In any case, if black is the least safe color for a car, making that black even blacker seems like an objectively terrible design decision. In fact, BMW confirmed outright that this car will not be going into production. As to whether or not the company considers it safe? "The car hasn't been made for road test drives and hasn't seen daylight yet, but we will certainly test it on our proving grounds to see how it reacts/looks outside of a hangar," a spokesperson said. "Therefore, we can't answer this question yet."

It's probably just a PR stunt, of course, but it makes for an interesting moment to ponder the relative safety of car paint-jobs.