BMW of North America said the cars were designed by the late artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as painter Frank Stella.
The exhibit also includes a project by contemporary artist Robin Rhode, who used the all-new 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster mounted with special paint dispensers behind its wheels to create a football-field size painting, a 30-foot-by-40-foot section of which is on display.
Rhode, Stella and Jake Scott of RSA films, who collaborated with Rhode on the project, attended Tuesday's preview of the installation, which is free and now open to the public through April 6 in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall.
"Arts and culture is our city's signature industry, and it also nourishes many others," New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement. "New York City's vibrant cultural life is a big reason why so many people want to live here, and it draws visitors here from around the world."
"BMW is proud to bring the works of some of the world's most respected artists to New York City as part of a free public art installation," added Jack Pitney, vice president of marketing for BMW of North America. "It is an honor to know that these artists, and so many others, have garnered inspiration from, or expressed their thoughts and points of view through, our cars. Furthermore, to have Robin, Frank and Jake with us at the installation's preview makes this moment all the more special."