E46 BMW M3 in Imola Red

BMW Imola Red: What Color Is It? (Complete Guide)

If you’re as crazy about cars as we are, you know that color is king when making a statement.

And, speaking of BMW colors that leave an impression, there’s one that’s been turning heads for years: Imola Red.

It’s a bold red that’s a tad darker than your regular bright red, and it has a touch of class that adds some serious personality to a car. Named after the famous Italian racetrack, Imola Red was born to race through the streets with elegance and adrenaline.

Today, we’re diving into the origins of Imola Red, checking out some BMW models that rocked this color, and even making some color comparisons with BMW’s Hellrot Red and Melbourne Red.

Get comfy, and let’s hit the road!

The origins of Imola Red

Let’s hit the rewind button for a moment.

Imola Red didn’t just pop out of nowhere. In the 1990s, when car colors were mostly about simple and classic choices, BMW wanted something that could pack a punch.

They were looking for a color that could capture both the thrill of speed and the elegance of their machines. That’s when Imola Red entered the stage.

It was named after the world-renowned Imola racetrack in Italy. (Which, officially, is named the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.)

But wait, why name it after a racetrack?

Imola is not just any racetrack; it’s one of the most iconic racetracks in Italy and a symbol of speed and exhilaration. Think of it as a place where racing legends are born!

Imola racetrack in Italy (Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari)

So, when BMW was searching for a name for this new, vibrant red, they hit the jackpot with “Imola Red.” It encapsulated everything they wanted the color to represent – racing spirit, excitement, and European elegance.

As the years went by, Imola Red grew into a legend of its own.

From professional race car drivers to everyday folks who love to feel the thrill of the road under their wheels, Imola Red has become a go-to color. It’s associated with power, style, and, most importantly, a deep-rooted racing legacy.

In a nutshell, Imola Red is so much more than a color. It’s a statement, a legacy, and a tribute to the exciting world of motorsport. And let’s be honest; it’s downright gorgeous!

8 BMW Models that were painted in Imola Red

Before we get too carried away, let’s admire some BMW models that were available in Imola Red!

1. E36 BMW M3

E36 BMW M3 in Imola Red

First up on our list is the legendary E36 BMW M3.

Born in the early ’90s, the E36 M3 was a game-changer.

It had everything – a sleek design, beastly performance, and handling that could make you feel like a racing legend.

Now, imagine it in Imola Red. Oh yes!

Imola Red was first introduced on the E36 M3 in 1999 and turned heads wherever it went. It perfectly complemented the car’s aggressive lines and curves, making it an instant classic!

2. BMW Z3 M Roadster

BMW Z3 M Roadster in Imola Red

Next, we have the BMW Z3 M Roadster, a car that’s all about freedom and fun.

Making its debut in the late ‘90s, the Z3 M Roadster was like a breath of fresh air. With its convertible top and a design that screams ‘road trip!’, it was a perfect car for those who wanted to let their hair down and taste the adventure.

When you spec the Z3 M Roadster in Imola Red, magic happens. The color brought out the car’s playful spirit and its smooth, fluid lines.

And the red with the top down? Absolutely stunning!

Plus, don’t forget that Imola Red on the Z3 M Roadster was only available from 2000 to 2002, so it’s pretty rare!

3. E46 BMW M3

E46 BMW M3 in Imola Red

We’re now hitting the 2000s with the E46 BMW M3.

This model is often hailed as one of the best M cars ever made. Sleek, muscular, and packed with a punch, the E46 M3 was the perfect blend of performance and luxury.

With the introduction of Imola Red, the E46 M3 went from amazing to a showstopper.

Imola Red showcased the car’s beautiful design and aggressive stance perfectly. It became so popular that, for many, E46 M3 and Imola Red became synonymous. It’s like that favorite shirt you can’t help but wear all the time because it just looks so good!

4. E39 BMW 5 Series

E39 BMW 5 Series in Imola Red

Introduced in the late ’90s, the E39 5 Series was all about class.

With its sophisticated design, roomy interior, and advanced features, it was the car for those who wanted to travel in style and comfort.

You’d think a color as bold as Imola Red might be too much for a luxury sedan, but it worked beautifully with the E39 5 Series.

The color added a layer of opulence and a touch of sportiness to the car’s refined lines. It was like wearing a tailored suit with a vibrant tie – sophisticated yet full of character.

5. E38 BMW 7 Series

E38 BMW 7 Series in Imola Red

Another luxurious sedan introduced in the mid-’90s was the E38 BMW 7 Series.

At the time, it was the epitome of luxury and innovation. With its roomy interiors, V12 engine, and a ride as smooth as silk, the 7 Series was the car you’d picture CEOs arriving in.

The boldness of Imola Red, coupled with the 7 Series, was nothing short of regal. It made the car look even more distinguished!

And it’s super rare too.

According to the BMW E38 Registry, only 287 E38s were ever produced in Imola Red!

6. E53 BMW X5

E53 BMW X5 in Imola Red

Time to embrace the adventurous side!

The E53 BMW X5 made its debut around the turn of the millennium. This was BMW’s first step into the world of SUVs, or as they like to call it, SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle).

The X5 was built for those who sought adventures and didn’t want to compromise on luxury. With its robust performance and spacious interior, it was ready for both the jungle and the city.

Picture the X5 in Imola Red. Suddenly, the adventure gets a bit more thrilling, doesn’t it? Imola Red gave the X5 a sporty edge that was hard to resist!

7. E85 BMW Z4 Roadster

E85 BMW Z4 Roadster in Imola Red

Introduced in 2003, the E85 BMW Z4 Roadster was a sports car that combined open-top driving with dynamic performance.

With its long hood, sharp lines, and compact form, it was a car designed for those who wanted the thrill of a sports car and the freedom of a roadster.

Now, paint this machine in Imola Red, and what you get is a dynamic presence that’s hard to ignore.

Imola Red added a layer of excitement and vigor to the Z4’s sporty design. It emphasized the car’s curves and made it look even more agile!

8. F90 BMW M5 Competition

F90 BMW M5 Competition in Imola Red

After the E85 BMW Z4, Imola Red took a little bit of a step back.

BMW was introducing other awesome colors, but recently, Imola Back came back with the F90 BMW M5 Competition!

So, what happens when you paint one of the best turbocharged BMWs in Imola Red? You get an aggressive and stylish combination that’s downright intoxicating.

The Imola Red showcases the M5 Competition’s muscular lines and adds an aura of fierceness to it!

Availability as a BMW Individual color

Before we talk about Individual Imola Red II, let’s introduce you to the BMW Individual Program.

Imagine you’re in a candy store, and you get to create your very own mix of sweets.

The BMW Individual Program is somewhat like that but for cars.

It’s a program that lets you personalize your BMW to the finest detail. From exclusive paint finishes to custom interiors, it’s all about making your BMW uniquely yours.

The Individual Imola Red II is among the array of exclusive colors. This shade is an evolution of the classic Imola Red, with a slightly deeper and richer hue.

What makes Individual Imola Red II special is its exclusivity. It’s available for a selection of BMW models, and being part of the Individual Program, it carries with it a sense of prestige.

Just take a look at this BMW M3 Competition in Imola Red!

BMW M3 Competition in Individual Imola Red II

Related article: BMW Touch Up Paint: Which Is Best And How To Use It? (Guide)

What is the difference between Imola Red and Hellrot Red?

Imola Red isn’t BMW’s only red color. In fact, there are several popular ones!

Hellrot Red is a classic BMW color that has been used in several models over the years. It’s a bright, vibrant red with a touch of playfulness and exuberance. It’s like the color of a ripe tomato or the red on a race car’s livery.

At first glance, Imola Red and Hellrot Red might seem similar, but look a little closer, and the differences begin to emerge.

The main difference between Imola Red and Hellrot Red is that Imola Red is deeper and has richness to it, while Hellrot Red is brighter and more vibrant.

BMW Hellrot Red vs. Imola Red
BMW Hellrot Red (left) vs. Imola Red (right)

Imola Red tends to have a more mature and elegant appearance, while Hellrot Red is livelier and more youthful.

What is the difference between Imola Red and Melbourne Red?

Another stunning hue in the BMW’s color spectrum is Melbourne Red.

Named after the vibrant city of Melbourne, this red is reminiscent of the lively culture and dynamic lifestyle of the Australian metropolis.

So, how is it different compared to Imola Red?

The main difference between Imola Red and Melbourne Red is that Imola Red is deeper and richer, while Melbourne Red has a brighter and more metallic appearance.

BMW Melbourne red vs. Imola Red
BMW Melbourne Red (left) vs. Imola Red (right)

Another thing to note is that Melbourne Red sometimes appears to have an orange tinge when it catches the light, adding an extra dimension to its personality.

In summary, Imola Red is the way to go if you’re looking for a classic and elegant vibe. But if you want something a bit more lively, Melbourne Red will be right up your alley.

FAQs about Imola Red

If you have any more questions about BMW’s Imola Red, check out these FAQs:

What is the paint code for BMW Imola Red?

The paint code for BMW Imola Red is 405.

How many Imola Red E39 models are there?

The exact number of E39 models painted in Imola Red is not precisely known. However, it’s estimated that there are around 750 of them out there. It’s worth mentioning that since Imola Red was not a standard color for the E39, the ones that do exist are quite special.


Have you seen enough reds yet?

Imola Red, with its roots deeply intertwined with the racing heritage of BMW, is a color that speaks volumes. It’s not just a shade; it’s a statement, a piece of history.

It’s astonishing how something as simple as a color can have such a profound impact on a car’s personality. Each red in the BMW lineup adds a unique chapter to the marque’s storied history.

In the end, what matters is how a car, and more importantly, its color, makes you feel. Whether it’s the depth of Imola Red, the brightness of Hellrot Red, or the sparkle of Melbourne Red, each hue has its own heart and soul.

Thank you for joining us on this colorful adventure. Happy driving!

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