BMW premieres THE ICON, a battery-powered electric watercraft elevated by hydrofoils

BMW premieres THE ICON, a battery-powered electric watercraft elevated by hydrofoils

BMW and TYDE introduce battery-powered THE ICON

 

At Port de Cannes, car brand BMW unveils THE ICON, its geometric and elevated electric watercraft powered by batteries and designed with boat maker TYDE. Up to now, the engines of small-sized marine watercraft may lag and fail to pick up a rapid pace while faster boats with longer ranges are dominated by combustion engines. BMW changes the water vehicle game by adopting the powerful electric drive system and energy from high-voltage batteries from BMW i.

 

With THE ICON, BMW and THE TYDE introduce the first battery-powered marine craft of its kind that brings together locally emission-free travel within a luxury design vernacular. At 13.15 meters in length and with a top speed of 30 knots (or 55 km/h), THE ICON’s blazing speed is made possible with an ingredient drawn upin yacht racing: hydrofoils. BMW lifts the surface of its electric watercraft to reduce the energy it needs to generate compared with a conventional hull.

 

The foiling technology enables the watercraft to ride on wing structures below the water level while keeping the hull afloat above the water surface, nudging the vehicle forward at higher speeds. Tech buffs might appreciate the pair of 100 kW electric motors installed in THE ICON that convert the 240 kWh of energy supplied by six batteries from the BMW i3 into a range of more than 50 nautical miles. BMW introduces THE ICON at Port de Cannes where riders may hop onto the travel experience and listen to an exclusive soundtrack composed by award-winning film score luminary Hans Zimmer being played.

bmw the icon electric watercraft
images courtesy of BMW | all photos © Enes Kucevic

 

 

Prismatic design language for an electric watercraft

 

The design of THE ICON is curated by the creatives at innovation hub Designworks, a BMW Group subsidiary with studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Shanghai. The design team, alongside boat maker TYDE, takes a calculated step to unfold the look of the electric watercraft. Its body opens wide at a width of 4.5 meters in the rear section before it narrows down into a semi-pointed tip, recalling a flat hull’s form while geometric lines curve around the watercraft’s body, framing the knockout views of the sea.

 

Inspired by origami, entering THE ICON resembles stepping inside a box of foldable wonder with its sloping ceiling and kaleidoscopic design, coupled with generous windows and the lush green and blue hues for the interior that freshens up the entire space. BMW crafts angled doors for the entrance of THE ICON. They shape sections of metal sheeting to follow the curves of the furniture and design elements, and the approach enables the granular surface structure of the metal to reflect the sunlight onto the floor like waves on the sea. 

bmw the icon electric watercraft
BMW unveils THE ICON at port de cannes in france

 

 

Striving for CO2-free, water-bound mobility

 

A sense of lightness infiltrates the entirety of the space as natural light comes pouring in from all directions, enhanced by the landscape of the city and shore that sit on the horizon. For the seating, the chair design rotates 360 degrees to gift the riders the pleasure of observing the scenic views. BMW intends for the armchairs to pirouette as an attempt at social interaction In this way, everyone moves with their bodies and talks directly at someone. 

 

BMW truly drives the ethos of social interaction forward and at once, even placing the craft’s command station centrally on the deck, among the passengers’ rotating chairs. The captain enjoys the car brand’s eye for advanced technology through the 32-inch touchscreen display with 6K resolution serving as their screen guide for navigation and the voice-command feature that allows the pilot to vocally request for range information and weather reports.

 

The watercraft revealed in Cannes for the first time is a fully production-ready example of BMW on steeping marine transport with technology and devices rooted in CO2-free, water-bound mobility. From its foiling technology that achieves high speeds without generating waves or drag to its battery-powered electric drive system, THE ICON sets a new standard for BMW in crafting a noiseless and emission-free water vehicle tinged with visual notes of luxury.

bmw the icon electric watercraft
THE ICON is the first battery-powered marine craft of its kind

bmw the icon electric watercraft
it has 13.15 meters in length and a top speed of 30 knots (or 55 km/h)

bmw-the-icon-tyde-electric-battery-boat-cannes-designboom-ban3

BMW and TYDE’s electric watercraft THE ICON

bmw the icon electric watercraft
THE ICON resembles stepping inside a box of foldable wonder with its sloping ceiling and kaleidoscopic design

bmw the icon electric watercraft
the craft’s command station is located centrally on the deck

bmw the icon electric watercraft
the command station features a 32-inch touchscreen display with 6K resolution

bmw-the-icon-tyde-electric-battery-boat-cannes-designboom-ban

BMW and TYDE’s electric watercraft THE ICON

bmw the icon electric watercraft
the sheets of metal fold along the curves of the furniture

bmw the icon electric watercraft
the granular surface structure of the metal reflects the sunlight onto the floor like waves on the sea

bmw-the-icon-tyde-electric-battery-boat-cannes-designboom-1800

BMW and TYDE’s electric watercraft THE ICON

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