BMW Tried painting the M5 E39 in the elusive Chrome Shadow paint to see what happens. Here are some shots of the 1 of 1 M5 E39’s. The machine is still owned by the factory.
The Chrome Shadow color on M5 E39 reminds between a mix the colors Sterling Grey with a touch of Silverstone.
The intention was probably not this settle color, but a more vibrant “popping” paint, with extreme contrast dark fall-off on surfaces pointing away, just like the Style 65 wheels have it. The most likely reason the car looks more “silver” than Chrome Shadow is that the clear coat is too thick.
The thicker the clear coat, the less the Chrome Shadow shows and this is an issue with the Chrome Shadow process, because to achieve a Chrome Shadow feel a thin clear coat is necessary, where a thin clear coat does not protect the fragile Chrome Shadow ‘silver’ dusting under the clear. Any aggressive detergent/shampoo (especially wheel cleaner) will eat through the thin clear coat.
Scroll to the bottom to see the M3 E46 Concept in Chrome Shadow. That car’s paint is a lot closer to (whatever) Chrome Shadow (people think) paint should look like.
This looks like a test to see what happens if a Chrome Shadow painted door has to be resprayed for a customer.
The result appears that BMW themselves are not able to get Chrome Shadow right. Given the complicated and extremely unreliable (different results every time) process of painting in Chrome Shadow, BMW obviously scrapped the idea that they should offer this color to customers. BMW would not get a consistent finish from car to car, but would also deal with the impossibility of re-spray and paint repairs.
Photos by Kaspars Daleckis Photography:
BMW M5 E39 in Chrome Shadow by E39 Owners Group members at Munich “Push it to the Limit” meet
Here you can see images of the M5 E39 in Chrome Shadow in Munich, in different light and shadows, to get a feel how it looks outside sunlight.
The painted door is obvious. This looks like a test to see what happens if a Chrome Shadow painted door has to be resprayed for a customer.
The result appears that BMW themselves are not able to get Chrome Shadow right. Chrome Shadow is just a color of 50 shades of gray, with little to no consensus of what it really means to have Chrome Shadow.
Below is a M3 Concept that is painted in Chrome Shadow. The wheels match the body (it appears) much better in terms of color. The vehicle is located and on display at the BMW HQ/Welt/Museum.