BMW has teamed up with boat manufacturer, TYDE, to develop an emission-free boat dubbed The Icon, which made its dramatic debut at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
The Icon has two 100kW electric motors that convert the 240kW of energy from six BMW i3 batteries, allowing the craft to travel about 100 km with a top speed of 55 km/h or 30 knots.
The development and realisation of The Icon was done by TYDE, but the design was created in the studio of BMW Group subsidiary, Designworks.
By utilising “foiling” to save energy, The Icon’s flat hull reduces the required energy by up to 80 per cent, while also allowing for a spacious cabin. Foiling is when the boat’s hull is above the surface of the water, whereas traditionally they are below.
Inside, the cabin is like a lounge, not only because it is relatively spacious, but it’s even carpeted. There are chairs and couches, each with individual tablets. The design of the cabin has taken cues from origami to create an angular, sculpted pattern across the interior and exterior.
The command station utilises iDrive style controls with a 32-inch touchscreen with 6k resolution and voice control.
Gliding out onto the water is almost completely silent while also not producing any waves. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be sitting in eerie silence as accompanying you would be an “on-board soundscape” produced by Hans Zimmer.
It’s safe to say that The Icon isn’t designed for the high seas, but a cruise along a coast or harbour like Cannes. You certainly wouldn’t miss any of the views either thanks to the floor to ceiling windows surrounding the cabin.