So, what's the problem? Paint suppliers have reportedly been testing their pigments and processes to see if it's possible to meet CARB's proposed mandate of 20 percent solar reflectivity by 2016 with a phase-in period starting in 2012, and it's not looking good. Apparently, when the proper pigments and chemicals are added to black paint, the resulting color is currently being referred to as "mud-puddle brown." That doesn't sound very attractive, now does it? Windshields, backlights and sunroofs are also slated to get reflective coatings starting in 2012.
When we first heard of this issue, an internal debate immediately began as to whether this might be an elaborate April Fool's joke. Sadly, it isn't. Read through CARB's complete Cool Cars Standards and Test Procedures here (PDF link). Thanks for the tip, Joaquin!
[Source: CARB (PDF link); Wards | Photo: 7mary3]