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Discussion Starter #1
we are looking at getting a BMW (part of the condition for me getting an elise!) and they offer a metallic and a non-metallic black. They both look good but I wonder which one is better for maintenance, swirl marks, etc. I think I like the look of the non-metallic one better but which one will look better in 2 years?
 

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Metallic black helps a little in this regard, but it's not huge in my opinion. I think either way, you're going to be in for some maintenance. Pick what you like, or go for one of the dark silvers. My black car is doing quite well two years later, but then again, I live in San Diego and wash carefully by hand.

I'm not too familiar with BMW metallic black, so I'm not sure how different they look visually. For example, a metallic black Porsche can be distinguished from a non-metallic black car if they are standing right next to one another. The flake content is quite high. However, a metallic black Mercedes basically looks non-metallic from more than a few feet away. So, the more distinguishable the two colors, the more the metallic paint will help hide the swirl marks.

How much effort are you willing to put into the maintenance? Nothing beats a freshly washed black car.

Here's a picture of the two Porsche colors:
 

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I would think that mettalic in the black would always make it look dirtier than a flat black. Take the image of those 2 porsches for example. This is why I'm very dissapointed that the elise is not coming in the cleanest of clean colors...black.
 

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My 330i is black sapphire metallic, and I really love it. It looks like a charcoal in bright sunlight (similar to the top boxter in the pic). If I were to do it over again, I would stay w/ the metallic color b/c my 323i before it had jet black (flat) which showed swirls a lot more. Either one requires a lot of cleaning and maintenance, but what nice looking car does'nt. I'm not a big believer in the "black cars look dirtier" line of thought. Regardless of color, cars look like shite when dirty.
 

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My Z4 is black sapphire metallic too. I love it. When it's under a blue sky, people say, "Your car is such a dark blue that it looks black." They say the same thing about being dark green against grass. I keep it very clean. Like all black cars, it's beautiful when clean, but very difficult to keep that way. I'd certainly do it again. But the Elise will NOT be black. One black car to obsess over is enough. Get the one you like better. If you are worrying about which will be easier to keep looking good, don't get either. All black cars take a LOT more work to keep great looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses.

We are actually getting a Z4 as well but we are gonna go with the 2.5 instead of the 3 litre...
 
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