In 1972, BMW celebrated the Olympic Games in Munich by debuting their first electric car. This car was a BMW 1602 that was converted with an electric battery and was used at various long-distance competitions as accompanying and camera cars by the Olympic Games committee. This was the start of a pioneering, forward-looking evolution of electrified vehicles at BMW. Kith commemorates this accomplishment 50 years later, as Ronnie Fieg worked with BMW to completely rebuild and redesign his personal 1-of-1 1602, converting it to a fully electric vehicle adorned with bespoke design details. These details include a collaborative rendition of the BMW roundel which replaces the BMW wordmark with “Kith”, which can be seen on the hood, rear decklid and rims. The interior was crafted in a Caramel-colored full-grain merino leather embossed with an all-over Kith monogram pattern. The final and most significant detail featured on the BMW 1602 is the paint color, which is a custom green developed specifically for this partnership, titled "Kith Vitality Green."
As electromobility is the underlying narrative throughout Chapter II, green was chosen as the color for the cars and the collection. Kith and BMW worked together to develop a bespoke shade that has never been offered on any BMW models previously, nor will ever be offered again. Its name “Vitality” is a synonym for “energy” and is defined as, “the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things,” which epitomizes the electric story being told by the two brands. The paint is a dark green which subtly shifts color in different light.
While the 1972 BMW 1602 Elektro by Ronnie Fieg pays homage to BMW’s first step into electrification, the 2022 BMW i4 M50 by Kith serves as the bridge to the present. The BMW i4 M50 is the first fully electric BMW M model. This car combines the innovative power of BMW M and BMW i with its fully electric powertrain fed by two BMW M eDrive motors to achieve a powerful 544 hp in Sport Boost mode which goes 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. It is locally emission-free and has a reach of up to 323 miles according to WLTP. In addition to the standard equipment in the BMW i4 M50, the model is equipped with a few special additions as standard. Alongside the adaptive M chassis, these include the M sports brakes with red brake calipers, the M aerodynamic package and the BMW Individual Shadow Line lights. The Professional and Plus driving assistants also contribute to the luxurious driving feeling, as well as the electric sliding glass roof, the fine oak wood trim, and the M high-gloss Shadow Line exterior trim.
Aside from the technology, the Kith version sees a multitude of custom modifications that continue the design language seen on the BMW 1602 Elektro by Ronnie Fieg. The exterior is painted in Vitality Green by Kith and features subtle yet impactful updates to the badges. Two years ago, for Kith and BMW’s first partnership, the duo updated the brand emblem on the hood for the first time in the German-brand’s history. This year a similar approach is taken, as the hood roundel receives an added outer tri-tone green ring that lists the partnership, model and year as well as the fact that it is an electric car. The rear decklid also features the Kith Motorsport logo in black, a nod to the BMW M logo. The interior is upholstered in BMW Individual Merino leather in Caramel, seen on the knee bolster, steering column, seats and side paneling, the A and B posts, as well as the trimming on the front and rear floor mats. The front seats’ headrests and the front center armrest are debossed with the Kith monogram pattern. The lid of the cup holder is laser-engraved with a collaborative logo and “Elektro-Auto” wordmark, while “Kith Exclusive Edition” is seen on the trim above the glove box.
As an exciting new element to the story, Kith and BMW are collaborating with Sotheby’s to auction the new 2022 BMW i4 M50 by Kith, designed by Kith-founder Ronnie Fieg. Only seven of these vehicles will be produced for the public. This is the only vehicle within this collaboration being auction to a global public audience. The auction will open online at Sothebys.com/KithforBMW on Friday, October 7th at 11AM EST with a starting bid of $1. The auction will end at 2PM EST on October 14th. Prospective bidders will be able to bid globally, with certain countries excluded from the bidding process due to shipping and manufacturing restrictions. 10% of the proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, an organization that aims to protect the ecosystems and biodiversity of East Africa through conservation to benefit local Maasai communities. For more information, please refer to the lot description page: Sothebys.com/KithforBMW.
The winner of this auction will receive their BMW i4 M50 by Kith in 2023, as the car will be produced to the street-legal specifications of the winner’s country of residence. In addition to the car, the winner will also receive one of each item from the Kith for BMW 2022 collection’s 51 styles of apparel and accessories (sized items will come in size Medium). Beyond the car and collection, the winner will also receive an assortment of special 1-of-1 products that commemorate this partnership and will be delivered with the car. These items will never be sold publicly and have been produced exclusively for this auction. These include a co-branded surfboard, snowboard, and a collaborative Wilson Pro Staff 97 Racquet.