BMW has unveiled its latest creation, THE ICON, an electric watercraft designed in partnership with boat maker TYDE.
This innovative vessel, showcased at Port de Cannes, combines geometric elegance with sustainable performance, powered by high-voltage batteries from BMW i. With THE ICON, BMW aims to revolutionize the water vehicle market by introducing a powerful electric drive system and delivering emission-free travel within a luxurious design framework.
In the realm of marine transportation, small-sized watercraft often struggle to achieve rapid acceleration, while faster boats with longer ranges have traditionally relied on combustion engines. BMW disrupts this status quo by adopting a potent electric drive system and high-voltage batteries from BMW i for THE ICON. This battery-powered marine craft offers a compelling solution, combining environmentally friendly travel with a touch of luxury.
With a length of 13.15 meters and a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h), THE ICON’s impressive speed is made possible by incorporating hydrofoils, drawing inspiration from yacht racing. In addition, by lifting the watercraft’s surface, BMW reduces the energy required compared to conventional hulls.
In addition, THE ICON’s groundbreaking foiling technology enables the watercraft to ride on wing structures beneath the water’s surface, while keeping the hull afloat above the waterline. This design innovation allows for faster speeds and improved efficiency. Tech enthusiasts will appreciate the inclusion of two 100 kW electric motors, which convert the energy supplied by six batteries from the BMW i3 (240 kWh) into a range of over 50 nautical miles.
Introducing THE ICON at Port de Cannes, the company invited riders to experience the future of water travel while enjoying an exclusive soundtrack composed by the renowned film score luminary Hans Zimmer.
THE ICON’s design is meticulously curated by the creative minds at Designworks, an innovation hub subsidiary of BMW Group. Collaborating with boat maker TYDE, the design team has carefully sculpted the look of this electric watercraft.
The body of THE ICON opens up at a width of 4.5 meters in the rear section before narrowing down into a semi-pointed tip, reminiscent of a flat hull. Geometric lines gracefully curve around the watercraft, framing captivating views of the sea. Inspired by origami, stepping inside THE ICON feels like entering a foldable wonder, with its sloping ceiling and kaleidoscopic design.
Generous windows and a color palette of lush greens and blues create a refreshing interior ambiance. In addition, BMW has crafted angled doors that mirror the curves of the furniture and design elements, allowing the granular surface structure of the metal to reflect sunlight onto the floor, mimicking the play of waves on the sea.
THE ICON prioritizes a sense of lightness throughout the space, with natural light pouring in from all directions, complemented by the scenic views of the city and shoreline on the horizon. The seating design features chairs that rotate 360 degrees, providing passengers with the pleasure of observing the surroundings. BMW intends for these rotating armchairs to facilitate social interaction, allowing passengers to move with their bodies and engage in direct conversations.
In a nod to advanced technology, BMW has placed the craft’s command station centrally on the deck, among the passengers’ rotating chairs. The captain benefits from a 32-inch touchscreen display with 6K resolution, serving as a navigation guide and a voice-command feature that enables the pilot to request range information and weather reports.
THE ICON marks a significant milestone for BMW, showcasing their commitment to revolutionizing marine transport with CO2-free and visually stunning watercraft.