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Exterior view of the BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition

Black, a visual representation of all colors combined in the absence of light, is typically used to convey a sleekness, sexiness or mysteriousness to the things it embodies.

The concept of "blacking out" a car first started with aftermarket customizers, and now many manufacturers are offering their own interpretations of this monochromatic look. Depending on which vehicle it's applied to and whether it's matte or glossy, this visual language can change a persona dramatically -- adding more feelings of sportiness, luxury or sophistication.

Offered in a variety of names -- Black Edition, Midnight Edition or Dark Shadow, for example -- these styling packages are another way of standing out from the crowd or expressing yourself on the road, and often come with more premium materials or exclusive hardware.

Let's explore some of my favorite executions of the blacked-out look for the 2021 model year, from BMW, Nissan, Ram, and more.

BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition

Exterior view of the BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition

BMW has long represented the ultimate in luxury, performance, and design for many drivers, and now it's added even more exclusive dimensions to its design with the very limited (roughly 500 units made) X7 Dark Shadow Edition.

This vehicle can be viewed as an in-house execution that utilizes the BMW Individual program -- a bespoke service that allows customers to spec vehicles beyond the standard colors and styling options. The X7 Dark Shadow Edition uses many elements that are exclusive to the BMW Individual program, and the result is quite stunning, if I do say so myself!

Aside from the legally required red taillights, just about everything on the exterior is dark or shades of dark -- the Frozen Arctic Grey paint finish, black chrome kidney grille, high-gloss black roof rail, 22-inch matte black M Wheels, and more. And because the Dark Shadow Edition includes BMW's M sports package, you'll get people's attention aurally too via the roaring M exhaust system.

The interior also features dark touches throughout, like an M steering wheel and BMW Individual trim pieces developed specifically for this special edition. These unique components dress the interior in a two-tone blue/black theme and surround the driver in luxurious Nappa and Merino leather plus Alcantara. 

Shop BMW X7 Inventory

Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition

Exterior view of the Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition

The Nissan Maxima is known for being a practical, yet still sleek, 4-door sports car, and its 40th Anniversary Edition celebrates that legacy with an extra bit of flair. 

Just for the 2021 model year, the 40th Anniversary Edition Maxima gets its monochromatic visuals from a two-tone Ruby Slate Gray Pearl and Super Black paint finish, and is topped off with black accent parts all over.  The body trim, front grille, wheels and badging get the dark treatment for a stealthy feel, and a unique 40th Anniversary logo on the trunk completes the look.

The exclusive treatment continues on the inside with red leather, diamond-quilted seats, and stand-out white-faced instrument gauges.

Shop Nissan Maxima Inventory

RAM Limited Night Editions

Exterior view of the RAM Limited Night Editions

The stealth look isn't limited to luxury vehicles -- RAM trucks know how to play the game, too. The 2021 lineup of RAM 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks will offer a Limited Night Edition trim for an extra dose of coolness.

RAM's already muscular exterior is enhanced by a black grille and badging, black aluminum wheels, and black exhaust tips. The taillights and headlamps are wrapped with dark bezeling, and the bumpers are paint-matched to deliver the fullest expression of Ram's dark mood. Functionality is further enhanced with tow hooks and a tonneau cover, and the 1500 models feature a performance hood.

The RAM Limited Night Edition is both luxurious and functional, and looks great whether at work or play.

Shop RAM 1500 Inventory

Honda Pilot Black Edition

Exterior view of the Honda Pilot Black Edition

The Honda Pilot Black Edition takes the top-of-the-line Elite trim and adds a variety of interior and exterior styling upgrades.

Wrapped in a Crystal Black Pearl paint finish, the Pilot Black Edition offers model-exclusive exterior detailing, like black-painted 20-inch alloy wheels, a blackout grille, black trim, and special edition badging. This is one mean midsize SUV.

Inside the cabin, you'll find equally cool styling treatments that feature the Black Edition logo. The dash, doors and center console really pop with red accent lighting, while the captain's chairs, door panels and steering wheel receive red contrast stitching. The Black Edition really stands out from the rest of the Honda Pilot lineup.

Shop Honda Pilot Inventory

Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition

Exterior view of the Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition

With the Silverado commanding a large customer base, having plenty of choices is key, and the Midnight Edition is another great way to give the LT Trail Boss or Custom Trail Boss a distinguished look, straight from the factory.

The Silverado Midnight Edition places its focus on off-road capability, and includes a two-inch suspension lift, the Z71 Off Road Package, skid plates, 18-inch black painted wheels, and more.

As the name suggests, this Silverado takes an all-black-everywhere approach to styling -- black badging, black Bowties, black grille, black bumpers, black exhaust tips, and black off-road assist steps.

The Custom Trail Boss Midnight Edition backs up its good looks with a 5.3-liter V8 or an available 6.2L V8, while the LT Trail Boss Midnight Edition is powered exclusively by the 6.2-liter V8 paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission.

Shop Chevrolet Silverado Inventory

Hyundai Kona Night

Exterior view of the Hyundai Kona Night

New for the 2021 model year, Hyundai's Kona is available in a limited edition Night Edition that features -- you guessed it -- a blackout treatment.

But for the Kona Night Edition, its blackout application is mainly in the details because you can still choose between three exterior paint colors. Your choice of Galactic Gray, Ultra White, or Chalk White will determine whether the Kona gets a monochromatic or high contrast effect.

Blackout parts include: 18-inch RAYS alloy wheels, gloss side mirrors, gloss interior door handles, headliner and gloss door sills. These details come together with the exterior theme for a uniquely youthful appearance. 

Shop Hyundai Kona Inventory

Looking for other trim packages? Be sure to check out our trim package research for more guides to your favorite brands and models. Or head over to our new vehicle inventory to find a great black-out edition available near you.

Andrew Chen  | Mar 25, 2021

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