BMW makes a printing press out of an M6Mon, 19 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800
While you're invariably reading this piece on some manner of digital device, Autoweek's roots lie in a physical magazine printed on an offset press. Hell, Competition Press was our original name. But as with any other old-media organization even cursorily concerned with relevance, we've made the leap into the digital world.
But as much as some would cry, “Print is dead!” the fact of the matter is that it is not dead yet. After all, folks are still subscribing to and purchasing ad space in our printed edition. People still enjoy physical mementos, though they may prefer them to be artisinally crafted. Don't, however, expect a letterpress edition of AW to wind up in your mailbox anytime soon. We work our art department hard enough as it is.
And while some have decried BMW's recent 1-series M Coupe as a parts-bin special, the fact that used models are trading at well over the car's original sticker price illustrates that there's still a measure of ineffable magic in BMW's M brand. As if to call back to the days when a small cadre of specialists homologated the E30 3-series for Group A Touring Car racing, the Motoren Werke commissioned an M6 printing press.
No, not an M6-themed printing press. They actually took a twin-turbo, 560 hp coupe, mounted a high-pressure ink-spraying system in the trunk and aimed the nozzles at the tires. Then they let driver Matt Mullins loose on sheets of blank paper lined up around Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Northern Illinois.
The resultant tread-printed sheets were cut into direct-mail pieces sent to M owners and fans, while the above video documented the process for the digital audience. Synergies, yo. Those M dudes have the synergies.
By Davey G. Johnson