THE SHADES OF TOMORROW – BASF unveils its tenth annual automotive colour collection


Dark Seltzer. Hiatus Grey. Social Camouflage. These are the shades of the future, according to BASF’s tenth annual Automotive Colour collection.

The colours in the collection serve as inspiration to automotive designers for vehicles that will be on the road in three to five years. The global collection, CODE-X, showcases, “everything from new, reimagined whites, to the darkest of jet blacks” while reimagining all the colours in between.

The global key colours—warm beige, greyish green, and coarse grey—may sound typical, but the BASF coatings division by Zeitguised integrates textures and shades that modernize the look of these vehicles to help model the trends and values of society. In a year such as this, marked with unpredictability, “this collection represents the blend of the physical and digital worlds to stay hopeful and positive while coping with change,” said BASF. North America’s key colours include Dark Seltzer, a medium dark grey, with a surprising texture and uncertain hue. BASF said the key colour signals the new normal: “nothing is mundane; everything has an important story.” Further, Redolent Red evokes not only a strong alliteration, but also strength with its reddish-brown hue coupled with modern functionality.

The final colour in the North American scheme is Abstraction Blue; primary, simple and elegant to suit any texture, this colour’s versatility is in tune with how we envision adapting to the societal climate.

This design is inspired by humanity’s unwillingness to accept failure, using our innate ability to problem solve, fueled by our fascination with the unknown. Technology and design merge with a symbiotic combination of texture and hue, taking a bolder, more interactive approach. Moving toward the Eastern hemisphere, warm beige acts a key colour for the Europe, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) regions. BASF’s shade Pundits Solution appears neutral while featuring a gold sparkle effect which brings warmth and positions the shade as uniquely different and distinctively younger.

EMEA’s key colour is coupled with Hiatus Grey, a coarse and metallic texture suggesting technological ideation, and Intron Green, a haptical mint-like green that features an explosion of texture.

The younger generation of people in the EMEA region are faced with change, and are now given the opportunity to reflect with clarity and do things differently by blazing a new trail for themselves. “[The EMEA Region colours] want to have a radical impact without screaming that it is radical. They want to adapt society to them, which speaks to how we consume,” wrote BASF in its report.

Social Camouflage, Asia Pacific’s key colour, aims to speak on how technology meets nature in the nuanced grey-ish green colour, but also within society. Asia Pacific’s key colours reflect a positive flexible attitude for change, action, and the future. They are warm and emotional colours. They are not black or white, but more blurred and floating, like human emotion said BASF. Social Camouflage, Asia Pacific’s key colour, aims to speak on how technology meets nature in the nuanced grey-ish green colour, but also within society.

“Not really light or dark, it is a coloured neutral with floating effects that can be smoky, depending on the angle. The cool colour represents flexible values and behaviors that will change the world in a positive manner” BASF explains.

The accent colours paired with the key Social Camouflage are Dream Fighter, and Unknown Metal. The first is a subdued and comfortable intermediate orange with hints of pink and copper, while the second is a grey-influenced purplish colour that is basic, yet fascinating.


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